Author Archives: Wayne Simmons

Opinion: Fox Hunting Vote Crucial to Lib Dems’ Reputation

Animal rights groups are reporting a planned vote re: fox hunting in the UK, with David Cameron hoping to appease hunting lobbyists by watering down the current legislation. The vote is scheduled for Wednesday 15th July leaving activists little time to fill petitions) and co-ordinate letter writing appeals to mobilise sympathetic MPs.

But how will the Lib Dems vote?

In terms of an outright repeal, the Daily Telegraph reported last month their belief that all eight remaining Lib Dems would vote to keep the law intact. But this is not a repeal, per se, but rather a set of amendments to bring existing practice in England and Wales “into line” with that in Scotland. At present, hunts in England and Wales have been allowed to ‘flush out’ foxes, along with certain other animals, under the auspice of pest control, as long as they are shot as quickly as possible. However, while hunts in England and Wales are limited to using just two hounds for such, the number of dogs that can be used in Scotland is unlimited. With pressure from rural constituencies in particular, will some of the remaining Lib Dems be convinced to vote in favour of the amendments?

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 87 Comments

Opinion: Animal welfare legislation misses the mark

Leading animal welfare charities dismissed legislation introduced by Lib Dems in coalition as being not fit for purpose.

The new ban, coming into force in October 2015, will prohibit the testing on animals for finished household products in the UK – but not all their ingredients. The ban will only apply to ingredients where more than half of their usage is expected to be within household products. This is seen as a considerable u-turn by then Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone, who announced in 2011 that the ban would ‘apply to both finished household products and their ingredients, although in …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 25 Comments

Opinion: Human rights? Don’t forget animal rights…

 

It wasn’t a passion for human rights that attracted me to the Liberal Democrats, but animal rights.

Five weeks ago, I hadn’t even registered to vote. I’d given up on politics, but something about this election spoke to me and I suddenly wanted a say, rushing to get my name down just before the deadline.

But who to vote for?

I thought about what mattered to me. Animals mattered to me. We share the earth with them, yet often they come off worse in that deal. Their freedom’s been compromised. They need protection – more than often from us.

So, I got on the case. I e-mailed all the main parties, asking what they were doing to protect and promote the welfare of animals. The Lib Dems were the first to get back, highlighting the progress they’d made while in government. Working with farmers, retailers and consumers to ensure full compliance of the EU’s ban on battery cages; pressing the European Commission to properly enforce a ban on sow stalls and promoting EU rules to support a humane and sustainable farming system for animals across the board.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 19 Comments
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