midiamimesOur chance to ensure a Europe that cares for animals

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Press release from the Born Free Foundation
Born Free Foundation LogoOn 22nd May the British public will have the opportunity to elect their representatives for the European Parliament for the next five years and get the chance to directly influence the European legislative process. In total, 73 Euro-MPs will be elected to represent the United Kingdom, tasked with reflecting the interests of their constituents. Whilst they may cover a range of views from Europhile to Eurosceptic, it is important to recognise the significant protection given to animals and the environment through European policy, which in many ways exceeds the provisions of national policy.
Therefore, it is vital that the public is fully informed on these issues so that when they vote in the European Elections, they understand and appreciate the priorities of their prospective candidates and the various political parties. Hopefully, they will vote in favour of a Europe that continues to care for animals.
The Born Free Foundation is keen to help you make an informed choice in the European Elections. To help, we have set out a short guide as to who stands for what and the degree of priority each Political Party and individual candidate places on the environment, and whether they put animal protection at the heart of their election manifesto. Born Free has contacted all the main political parties which have candidates standing for election and below you will find information about their Election priorities and key environmental pledges.

What Commitments have the Parties made to environmental protection?


  • Working for a greener environment, take steps to cut carbon emissions across Europe by at least 40% by 2030
  • Improve enforcement of existing legislation, particularly concerning zoos, habitat protection and animal transport
  • Creation of marine conservation zones (MCZ) throughout Europe,
  • To protect UK habitats and combating habitat loss,
  • To establish an EU-wide animal welfare law,
  • To enable greater protection of domesticated/farm animals,
  • To reduce animal testing,
  • To ban ivory sales in the EU.

  • To establish an EU-wide animal welfare law that includes all animals, including wild animals in captivity,
  • To build captivity in EU countries to ensure existing animal protection legislation is properly enforced,
  • To ensure a robust licensing of zoos and an effective inspection procedure, with the humane closures of non-compliant zoos,
  • To end the use of all animals in circuses and travelling exhibitions,
  • To end the keeping of captive whales and dolphins for commercial purposes,
  • To establish tighter restrictions in wildlife trade, improve monitoring, improve enforcement and tackle illegal trafficking,
  • To strengthen the protection of natural habitats through the Habitats Directive and improve enforcement of Natura 2000,
  • To instruct a review of trophy hunting and the import of wildlife trophies into the EU, with the aim of tightening restrictions.

  • Working for a greener environment by prioritising a strong EU package to tackle climate change up to 2030 and beyond,
  • Combating habitat loss and conserving biodiversity,
  • To establish an EU-wide animal welfare law,
  • To build on work done so far in areas such as live animal transportation, dairy production and wildlife crime,
  • To ban ivory sales in the EU.
Liberal Democrats

  • To support the revision of EU development policies to support the international goal of at least halving the rate of loss of all natural habitats by 2020,
  • To support the target of halting net deforestation worldwide by 2020 and to draw up an action plan to combat the widespread illegal trade in wildlife, including fish and timber species,
  • Keen to see the European Union withdraw development aid for environmentally harmful technologies and invest more in clean energy generation,
  • Support for an EU-wide animal welfare law to establish the highest possible standards,
  • To minimise levels of suffering inflicted on animals reared in farming and to end live mass export of animals across borders,
  • End the use of animals in circuses,
  • To discourage people from keeping animals not suited to be kept as pets,
  • To support the continuation of the UK Marine Conservation Zones and encourage other zones across Europe.

  • To scrap the Common Agricultural Policy, so farmers and the UK government decide on farming issues,
  • To axe funding provided to government departments focused on climate change policy,
  • To eradicate the most destructive invasive alien species that pose the greatest threat to indigenous biodiversity,
  • Assist and enhance the red squirrel captive breeding programme and the future reintroduction of red squirrels throughout Britain following eradication of the grey,
  • To instigate a government-funded scientific study into the relationship between raptors and their prey species,
  • To ban live animal exports,
  • To scrap expensive wind-farms that disrupt migrating birds and are increasingly upsetting the sea beds in wave turbines.
Animal Welfare Party (London only)

  • Re-directing EU subsidies (currently averaging 50 billion euros per year) away from livestock and fisheries farming and into plant-based agriculture,
  • Promoting healthy, plant-based lifestyle initiatives through public health and education campaigns,
  • Phasing-out farming practices and systems with poor welfare consequences for animals and ending live animal export,
  • Reducing journey times for animals travelling to slaughter and further ‘fattening’,
  • Phasing-out animal experimentation with binding targets for reduction combined with funding and real support for alternatives,
  • A ban on the production and sale of fur within Europe,
  • To end cultural traditions that involve cruelty to animals, such as bull fighting and foie gras production,
  • To ban the importation and trade in all wild-caught animals,
  • To ban the breeding of non-conservation significant species kept in zoos,
  • To an the use of all animals, wild and domestic, in circuses,
  • Increasing penalties for those convicted of animal cruelty,
  • Ensuring proper enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation across all EU member states,
  • To ban ivory sales in the EU.

NB. The above information was collected from the indicated political parties between March and May 2014.
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Author: ENDCAP