The home of Shooting Times and Sporting Gun

Labour promise to “reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates”

On the 10th anniversary of the implementation of its Hunting Act, the Labour Party has today launched a pledge to “reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates” as one of six key general election animal welfare policies.

Party leader Ed Miliband said: “Our Labour values tell us that we have a moral duty to treat the animals we share our planet with in a humane and compassionate way. No other major political party has such a proven track record of decisive action for animals at home, on farms and in the wild.”

Unveiling the pledges in a document entitled “Labour Protecting Animals”, shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle said: “The last Labour government achieved much to end the cruel and unnecessary suffering of animals: the banning of hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing on animals, banning fur farming and introducing the Animal Welfare Act.

“The next Labour government will continue to lead the way on animal welfare, starting with six key commitments that build on our previous achievements at home and abroad.”

Christopher Graffius, director of communications at BASC told Shooting Times that the association understood Labour is considering an independent review of issues such as raptor persecution and snaring should they form a government after the election. He commented: “BASC believes that the statement within the document that Labour will reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates suggests that some within the party have already reached a foregone conclusion about shooting before hearing the evidence that would be presented to any independent review. Prejudging the evidence is not good practice. As an all-party organisation, BASC would hold any government to account to ensure that all policy on shooting is based on sound evidence and correct process.”

The commitments in full are:

  • defend the Hunting Act
  • reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates
  • review the rules on breeding and selling dogs and cats
  • ban wild animals in circuses
  • end the badger cull
  • lead the fight against global animal cruelty

This story will be updated as further details are released…