At this moment, all across the UK, there is a great deal of confusion and uncertainty.
Last year Britain voted to leave the EU and have since been lead by Theresa May, a leader many considered unelected. Just a month ago May called for a general election to be held on 8th June giving the British public just 51 days to decided on their vote.
Following Jeremy Corbyn’s announcement today that a Labour government would financially back plant-based businesses we looked at the impact each of the four major parties might have on the vegan movement.
The Labour Party (Jeremy Corbyn)
Labour is intending on increasing the standard of animal welfare across the UK in order for the UK to become a leader in this area. Their manifesto claims that a Labour government will promote ‘cruelty-free’ animal agriculture and increase the maximum sentence for people who are convicted of animal cruelty.
In addition to this they intend on ending the badger cull and introducing a ban on ivory trading. Jeremy Corbyn, a vegetarian his entire adult life, has also promised financial backing for plant-based businesses, which he believes are essential in order to tackle climate change. Corbyn also appointed Kerry McCarthy, the first ever vegan MP in the UK, as shadow secretary for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from September 2015 – June 2016.
The Conservative manifesto supports mandatory CCTV recording in slaughterhouses and promises to crack down on pet breeding, stopping puppies being sold when they are less than eight weeks old and introducing the requirement for a license for breeders selling three or more litters a year. Theresa May also announced last week that she is intending to repeal the 2004 Hunting Act which bans the hunting of wild mammals. Last year the Conservatives announced plans to make many changes in their involvement of enforcing animal welfare guidelines including changing poultry farming guidance from statutory codes to guidance led by the poultry industry itself.
The Green Party (Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley)
The Green party have yet to release their manifesto but the manifesto released under Natalie Bennett’s leadership for the 2015 election asked the public to “Imagine [a political party] that believes that animals have a right to flourish and aren’t just a means to the end of human satisfaction.” Their previous manifesto also aimed to reduce the industrialisation of animal farming and putting an end to factory farming with a complete ban on cages for hens and rabbits. They also looked to introducing mandatory labelling of meat and dairy products so that consumers were aware of methods of production and methods of slaughter.
The Liberal Democrats (Tim Farron)
The Liberal Democrats have also promised to ban caged hens, although they don’t explicitly mention the caging of any other animals in their manifesto. They are looking to increase the maximum sentence for someone convicted of animal cruelty from six months to five years. In addition to this, they intend on increasing the legal requirements when selling pets online in order to reduce the number of illegal pet imports. In their manifesto the party also mentions the use of animals for scientific experiments; a practice they intend to reduce. They claim they will do this by funding research into alternatives.
For more detailed information concerning party policies you can find their manifestos here:
Labour Party Manifesto
Conservative Party Manifesto
Green Party 2015 Manifesto
The “Green Guarantee”
Liberal Democrat Manifesto
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