The UK Political Party for People, Animals and the Environment
Leader: Vanessa Hudson
AWP is standing in the following UK elections on 5th May 2016:
- The London-wide Assembly Election
- The Scottish Parliament Election – Glasgow Region
- The Northern Ireland Assembly Election – West Tyrone Constituency
Excerpts from http://www.animalwelfareparty.org and the AWP Manifesto:
Animal Welfare Party is part of an international network of political parties striving to create a fairer society in which the needs of people, animals and the environment are balanced.
The important links between animals, people and the environment are central to our political ideology. In addition to basing manifestos on improved animal protection, AWP includes policies on a wide range of other issues, such as health, education, housing, transport, energy, justice, immigration and foreign policy.
Treating people, animals, and the environment with respect is our key priority. To halt the degradation of the environment and the infringement of the rights of other sentient beings, we need to begin by re-thinking our culture, like previous social movements which ended the oppression of women, children and other races, to the benefit of society as a whole.
Animal Welfare Party represents a shift in political thinking and action, away from the short-term interests of the few, to one in which the interests of the weakest are protected, along with what is truly for the long-term good of people and our planet.
Animal Welfare Party aims to raise the bar for animals across politics.
Advancing Animal Protection Issues Politically
Animal Welfare Party is opposed to all forms of speciesism – the assignment of different values, rights, or giving special consideration to individuals solely on the basis of their species membership.
Our first and most fundamental principle is that animal abuse must end and that animals are no longer regarded as property.
The false perception that prosperity is associated with consumption of meat, dairy and eggs needs to be brought to an end. The livestock industry is a major contributor to environmental destruction, resource consumption and global warming. Animal Welfare Party promotes plant-based diets for the benefit of animals, human health and the protection of the environment.
The Moral and Legal Status of Animals
Animals are living creatures, not toys or accessories or a means of entertainment. Animals deserve protection. This starts with the recognition of their intrinsic value, which is independent of the value that people place upon them, and respect for their own needs. Such recognition should apply to all animals and define the limits of the purposes for which animals may be used.
Non-human animals are not property, but sentient beings. Article 6B of the Lisbon Treaty recognises animals as sentient beings, placing a duty upon Member States, like the UK, to protect their welfare. But, at the same time, the UK continues to place cultural and religious traditions above the interests of animals. Economic interests are given more consideration than the interests of animals. In everyday life, animals in the UK are primarily given the status of a commodity.
The Animal Welfare Party believes the European Convention on Human Rights should be reformed to tackle its species exclusivity.
Sustainable Farming & The Production of Enough Food for Everyone
The livestock sector is a major contributor to climate change and a major cause of deforestation. The sector is also the greatest contributor to water consumption. Half of the water we now consume is meat and dairy production related. It takes around 9,500 litres of water to produce 1lb of beef. One quarter pound hamburger requires around 2500 litres of water to produce, which is roughly the equivalent of showering for a month. Meanwhile, 1 litre of of cow’s milk takes around of 1,000 litres of water to produce.Animal Welfare Party believes firmly that, as the human population is set to rise to between 9 and 10 billion by the year 2050, it will be completely unsustainable to feed ourselves on animal product based diets.
Climate change affects us all, but particularly the most vulnerable: those in developing countries, animals and plants. Whilst the UK Climate Change Act includes a target of a 80% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, others are calling for 90% reductions. The measures currently proposed to achieve even a 80% reduction fall far short of what is needed. Without major societal changes, AWP believes this target will never be met.
The global livestock sector now produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transport combined. Some reports predict that, without using any gas, oil or fuel ever again from today, we’d still exceed our maximum carbon greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 simply by keeping livestock. Meanwhile, methane produced by livestock is estimated to be 25 to 100 times more destructive than the carbon dioxide from vehicles.
AWP believes we must increase social security benefits to ensure that they meet the minimum standard for healthy living costs to provide food, clothing and warmth to those in need.
Closer collaboration is needed between services: child protection, domestic violence support, animal protection, social workers and the police to reduce the potential and incidence of violence in the home and community and social disruption.
Economy and Employment
Animal Welfare Party believes we need to rethink the very economic system that has been the engine not for growth but for unsustainable social debt, the depletion of the earth’s resources and appalling environmental destruction.
We need to better protect the savings and wealth of everyone in our community. To encourage such a vital change in our economy we would:Promote sustainable, environmentally-friendly businesses generally, for the long-term benefit of society.Remove all subsidies for livestock and fisheries farming industries. These businesses are unsustainable, both financially and environmentally.
Reduce privatisation of public services. We need to recognise that essential public services, such as healthcare, education, transport infrastructure, gas and electricity supplies are not the same as for-profit, speculative private business ventures.
In order to make employment fair for all, we would:Increase the top tax rate to 50 per cent for those earning more than £150,000.We would raise the tax threshold at which tax becomes payable to £12,500 to better protect the earnings of the lower paid.Seek to increase the minimum wage to £10 per hour and make it available to all over 18.Seek to introduce a maximum pay ratio, whereby no member of an organisation can earn greater than 75 times more than the lowest-paid worker in that organisation.
Investing in Development
AWP believes the UK must discontinue with policies that cause harm in other parts of the world. Instead we must invest in the potential of developing countries. Sustainability, animal welfare, education, health, children’s rights and the equal treatment of men and women are key to this process.
Defending human rights
Animal Welfare Party believes that human rights are more important than trade. European companies violate environmental and human rights on a regular basis. Often the victims are left empty-handed, without having an opportunity to obtain justice. Moreover, one billion citizens in 40 fragile states are threatened by violence and structural injustice. These humans partly depend on our support for their safety and the protection of their human rights. Victims of war and violence, oppression and persecution, hunger, climate change and natural disasters deserve to be helped.
The United Kingdom has always shown itself to be a forward-thinking, progressive society, which has welcomed immigration as a necessary part in our economic and social development and supported those fleeing persecution elsewhere in the world. This needs to be encouraged and we should not allow ourselves to be swayed into a dismissive position by those who see immigration as only a negative.We need to provide increased support for asylum seekers and refugees, who are seeking to escape from persecution, war, famine, social collapse or personal, domestic situations of abuse.
Membership of The EU
Animal Welfare Party would encourage and extend the close working relationship with our local economic neighbours in Europe, including through our vitally important membership of the European Union.