South East England

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Socialist Party of Great Britain : Dave Chesham

This also serves as the response for all Socialist Party of Great Britain candidates

"Hi

We do have members who are vegetarians and vegan but have no policy for or against this.

It so happens that this month's Socialist Standard does have an article on food which should go some way to answering your questions.

There's a general statement on our view on the treatment of animals here.

Adam"

 

Labour Party : Anneliese Dodds

"Dear Amanda (if I may),

Many thanks for taking the time to write to me as we approach May’s European Elections.

I absolutely agree with you that it is essential we strive to improve animal welfare. 

I am a committed member of the Labour Animal Welfare Society and a vegetarian on animal welfare grounds. Personally I feel that the way we treat animals as a society is often the truest indicator of how civilised a society we are. 

The precise detail of Labour’s policies for the European elections are set out in our European Elections Manifesto which you can access here.

Labour supports the creation of a new, encompassing and modernised single animal welfare law, and supports campaigns by the RSPCA and others which have argued for this. 

Nonetheless, as far as I'm concerned, actions are more important than words- and so it's important that you know what Labour MEPs have done in the European Parliament to promote animal welfare so far. Over the last few years, Labour MEPs have:

-- approved new rules for the labelling of eggs so that consumers can identify them as free range, barn or cage

-- helped create new rules to improve animal welfare during scientific experimentation- and would have done more if not opposed by Conservative and Lib Dem MEPs and others

-- brought in new rules on fisheries to stop the practice of ‘discards’ and ensure sustainable fish stocks, and enable the creation of an EU-wide ‘sustainable’ fish label

-- banned the testing of cosmetics on animals and the marketing in Europe of any new cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU

-- tightened up rules on the transport of live animals across Europe

-- introduced “passports for pets”. Since 2004 quarantine-free travel has been introduced for guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas and hamsters (thus extending legislation, which came into force in 2000 for dogs and cats) provided they meet strict health and safety criteria

-- adapted laws to end battery cages for hens and reduced the stocking densities allowed for broiler chickens

-- brought in a total ban on the trade in cat and dog fur and campaigned for an end to the seal fur trade

-- voted for real fur to always be labelled as such, so that consumers can choose to avoid it if they want 

-- supported new stricter standards for tuna fishing to end dolphin deaths and prevent danger to other species such as turtles and sharks

-- voted to unequivocally end the cruel practice of ‘shark finning’ aboard ship

-- agreed rules banning the selling of seal products across the EU

You can find out more about what Labour MEPs have been doing in all these areas, here.

If elected I would be concerned to be a strong advocate for animal welfare- so, please do not hesitate to contact me again should you wish to raise any further issues concerning animal welfare in the future. 

Many thanks again for getting in touch and best wishes,

Anneliese" 

 

Peace Party : John Morris

"I am a vegan and always put the vegan point of view to all our members.  

Not all of them are vegetarian, however our line is ‘Non-violence, Justice, Environment’ and we agree that this applies to all humans and non-humans.  

It is unthinkable that any of us in the Peace Party should offer violence to any living creature and I think that goes without saying.  

But at present our mandate is to bring all wars to an end by replacing the European military organisation with one promoting the peaceful resolution of conflict. 

Until humans stop killing each other, there is very little hope that they will stop slaughtering non-humans!

As you can imagine, this is a contentious issue and until all our members know exactly how animals are treated I don’t think they put them first.  

I look forward to hearing from you and thanks for giving us the opportunity of writing down our thoughts.

Julie Roxburgh (on behalf of John Morris)"

 

Green Party of England and Wales : Keith Taylor

Response for all Green Party of England and Wales candidates supplied by Caroline Allen (here)

 

English Democrats : Steve Uncles

"Dear Amanda

Our policy remains unaltered, here.

Kind regards

Steve Uncles
South East Area Chairman & Lead Candidate" 

 

Liberty Great Britain : Paul Weston

"Dear Amanda,

We have already been in touch when I emailed you on 19 July 2012 enquiring about possible media outlets for the news of Green Hill in Northern Italy - Europe’s largest breeding facility of beagles for laboratories - having been closed down by the police pending further investigation for cruelty to animals. This occurred after a broad-daylight raid during a demonstration by animal activists. The police present did not intervene to stop the raid, and the majority of public opinion, who in the UK generally views this sort of action in an unfavourable light, supported it.

This should serve as an introduction. I am a long-time vegetarian and animal rights activist, both here and in my native Italy. I translated into Italian Peter Singer's Animal Liberation for Mondadori publishing company.

I am also a [secondary] candidate for the new party Liberty GB at the forthcoming European Elections in the South East constituency.

Liberty GB is a pro-animal-welfare party, otherwise I couldn't be part of it. I'll tell you my party's positions on several animal issues, and where they in some cases differ from mine.

Factory farming – opposed.

Dairy and egg industry – we are not vegan, so we are not opposed in principle, as long as cruel industrial farming methods are not used.

Slaughterhouse abuse – opposed.

Fur farms and skinning and anal electrocution of animals for fur – opposed.

Hunting of all kinds – we are leaving the matter to individual conscience.

My personal position, as an individual who has been an activist in the animal rights movement almost her entire life, is opposition to hunting and shooting of animals for sport and pleasure. This is not, though, Liberty GB's position.

Animal testing – here again we have to make a distinction. Liberty GB believes that controls on animal research facilities should be tightened, and the number of animals employed kept to a minimum through both the use of alternative methods and the avoidance of unnecessary experiments. This is a general, moderate animal welfare stance since the 1960s, embracing the 3Rs of English biologists Russell and Burch: refinement, reduction, replacement.

My personal position goes further than that. As someone who has studied this subject in depth for decades - and I cannot expect my colleagues in Liberty GB to have done the same - and a Philosophy of Science graduate, I know that there are many scientific, as well as ethical, reasons to oppose animal research, which is detrimental to human health as well.  I think that we should educate the public about these reasons, since the public hardly ever encounters them in the mainstream media (many subjects get distorted in the MSM, and they include science). Explaining the problems of animal research as a scientific method of enquiry would be too long and complex for this email. Suffice it to say that the method of animal research has never been validated, but, as it often happens in science, accepted as the current paradigm of normal science, to use the concept introduced by Thomas Kuhn, one of the main historians and philosophers of science of our time: simply put, it is a dogma that researchers are indoctrinated into during their training and have to accept if they want to become part of the scientific community. But, I repeat, this is only my personal, and not Liberty GB's, stance.

I hope this gives you at least some answers. Please feel free to send me 

your feedback or further enquiries.

All the best
Enza Ferreri
Media Officer – Liberty GB"