Earlier this week (14th March), we launched a station-wide advertising campaign in Westminster underground station in London, targeting policymakers on their way to and from work. The adverts urge the Government to keep their promise to ban the live export of animals from Britain and to deliver on the other pledges they have made to improve standards for farmed animals.
Whilst some positive legislation should shortly be secured, such as the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, which would reinstate the recognition of animal sentience in UK law, there is deep concern that a number of other Bills and proposals have completely stalled.
The Government vowed to deliver the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which would ban the live export of animals from Britain for fattening or slaughter. But the Bill has not been seen since November and time is running out for it to pass in this parliamentary session. There must not be any further dither or delay if the Government is to honour this manifesto commitment.
We are also awaiting other promised reforms, including “examining the use of cages for laying hens and farrowing crates for pigs.” This would be the next step towards ending the cage age for millions of farmed animals but, again, no progress has been made in almost a year.
And it’s been widely reported that the Government is set to go back on its commitment to consider a ban on the sale or import of the cruel ‘luxury’ food, foie gras. We simply can’t allow this to happen.
Piling on the pressure
“It is so important to keep MPs and policymakers focused on these issues, and what better way than to get our message in front of them on their way to work each morning?” says Sarah Moyes, our Senior Campaigns Manager. “Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to take out these adverts to drive home our message. They have enabled us to grab the attention of policymakers and we are piling on the pressure to help millions of UK farmed animals live a better life.”
Making an impact
The adverts are already having an impact, with a number of MPs and Peers backing our call on the Government. Yesterday (15th March), outside Parliament, Sir Roger Gale MP, Jim McMahon MP, Daniel Zeichner MP, Ruth Jones MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb and Baroness Hayman of Ullock took part in a photo-op to encourage the Prime Minister to keep his promises on animal welfare policies.
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “I’m here with Compassion in World Farming… to support their campaign to urge the Government to keep their promises when it comes to animal protection and animal welfare. For example, the Government promised that it would end the export of live animals and they still haven’t done that. We’ve had lots of warm words, for example, of getting rid of foie gras. They still haven’t banned that. There’s a whole litany of things the Government has promised they haven’t done yet. We need to keep up the pressure so that they do it now.”
Daniel Zeichner MP, Labour’s Food and Farming Minister, added: “I’m really concerned that the Government’s failing to deliver on its manifesto promises on a whole range of animal welfare issues. How can they not be taking action on fur and foie gras? Why are so many pieces of legislation being delayed? The British public expect them to take action and we’re holding them to account.”
Roger Gale, Conservative MP for North Thanet, said: “We need the Animals Abroad Bill and the Kept Animals Bill on the statute book as soon as possible. We need to be able to ban, once and for all, the import of foie gras which is not permitted to be produced in the United Kingdom of course.”
No further delay
James West, our UK Senior Policy Manager, said: “Thank you to all the MPs who are supporting our initiative. Their presence emphasises that they too do not want to see any further delay. We welcomed these proposals when they were announced, but now we need to see Government action, not just empty promises.
“The Government vowed to deliver the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill which would ban the live export of animals from Britain for fattening or slaughter, but no progress has been made since November.
“We are also awaiting other promised reforms, including examining the use of cages for laying hens and farrowing crates for pigs. This would be the next step towards ending the cage age for millions of farmed animals but, again, we are seeing no action. And it looks like the Government might do a U-turn on foie gras. The Prime Minister must not choke on his promises. Not delivering them is simply not acceptable!”
Our adverts to persuade the UK Government to honour its animal welfare commitments and protect farmed animals will run until 14th April. You too can get involved by directly emailing Boris Johnson today.