The Political Animal (November 2015)
We’re travelling all over the globe in this month’s Political Animal.
First stop is Spain after a ground breaking vote regarding bullfighting went through EU parliament.
‘This was a vote on whether EU subsidy of rearing bulls for bullfighting should end,’ explains Vanessa Hudson of the UK’s Animal Welfare Party. ‘Today’s decision must still be approved by EU finance ministers. The “sport” itself remains legal but without financial support in the way of EU subsidies it will likely become increasingly difficult for it to remain a financially viable activity.’
Meanwhile, over in Germany, the deplorable practice of “chick shredding” ends with the introduction of new legislation.
As the first country to ban this brutal method of euthanizing male chicks — one of many atrocities common to modern-day factory farming — one can only hope more governments will follow.
In China, scientists are being trained by specialists from the UK regarding ways to test cosmetics that don’t employ animals. Reporting on the development, UK broadsheet, The Guardian, described this move as part of the evolving relationship between the two governments following Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK last month. ‘We need to help the Chinese to get to a place where it is safe for them to stop using animals in testing,’ Judy MacArthur Clark of the Home Office commented. ‘Their consumers have to know they will be safe to use cosmetics, even though they are no longer being tested on animals.’
In Hong Kong, the government finally agreed to look at banning their ivory trade. This follows increased pressure from various NGOs, including an undercover video, leading to further bad press.
Another country that might be bowing to pressure is Thailand after it received a “yellow card” from the EU back in April with regards to its escalating problem of illegal fishing. Prime Minister, Gen Prayut, said that regulating the industry was now a priority and spoke of recognition from the EU that progress had already been made.
And now to America, where the Humane Party announced their candidate for next year’s presidential elections. Clifton Roberts, a long time vegan, has served as Chief Executive Officer of the party, strengthening their policy with regards to social justice, environmentalism and animal rights. We reported on the growing success of animal parties across the globe in last month’s Political Animal so it will be interesting to see how well received Roberts is within a country so notorious for its two-party system.
Speaking of success, MP Mark Pearson has introduced the first ever Animal Justice Party bill to the Australian Parliament. The Livestock Protection Bill employs principle legislation POCTA (Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to target industries who utilise animals, calling for proactive measures to ensure the animals don’t suffer.
Finally, back to my own native Northern Ireland where the Justice Department is considering the introduction of a “Cruelty Register”. This would be a centralised record of people convicted of animal cruelty offences. It would be accessible by relevant bodies, such as animal re-homing charities, to ensure those guilty of such offences are not able to adopt animals.
We’ll be back next month with more animalist political news. In the meantime, if you’ve any news you think we should be reporting on, please get in touch.
The Political Animal is a semi-regular feature of The Animalist. Written by Wayne Simmons, The Political Animal will update us with all the latest political news in the world of animalism. Contact Wayne.