15. Animal Welfare :

The Traditional Democrats are committed to animal welfare; our aim is to prevent the cruel abuse that is committed against animals in both domestic and commercial conditions and to campaign against animal cruelty on the world stage.

We would immediately publish our own animal welfare bill that would be more far reaching than any bill before or any new planned legislation.

We would immediately change current law that states intervention and prosecution can only take place once suffering has occurred. We would allow intervention by the RSPCA and prosecution for any possible suffering or evidence that suffering might occur. Those keeping any animal that are not suited to do so, or the conditions that animals are being kept in are proven to be inappropriate as per guidelines we will outline in new legislation will have their animals removed and where appropriate will be prosecuted.

We would introduce a licence that every individual must purchase before they can own a dog, which every seller/breeder must check and approve before legally being allowed to sell or give any puppy or adult dog to another individual. This will be enforced as rigorously as a car licence and will be of a significant fee (minimum £50 up to £150) to ensure only those committed to proper ownership will purchase the animal. Every dog in the UK will be required to be tagged, with the breeders, sellers and owners details logged.

We will restrict and better regulate the purchase of exotic animals; such animals are not suitable as pets and invariably require specialist knowledge and very specific living conditions to ensure no cruelty occurs. We will end the trade in these animals to be used as domestic pets.

Pre-meditated deliberate acts of cruelty against domestic animals will be punished by a custodial sentence and we will ensure these sentences are severe (years rather than months) to adequately deter those individuals who currently take pleasure in causing suffering to animals.

We will ensure industries such as horse racing and in particular greyhound racing is properly regulated; we will not tolerate retired animals being mutilated or killed because they no longer serve a purpose to the owners. Those guilty of such cruelty will be punished with a custodial sentence and be banned from owning any animal for life.

We will review such issues as the live transportation of animals and we will propose a proper debate on medical and cosmetic testing of animals.

We will ban all use of wild animals in circuses in the UK.

We will actively encourage and invest in humane farming methods; free-range farming of animals must be the future of farming. Supermarkets as well as governments have a responsibility to ensure the barbaric and cruel suffering of the past are replaced with humane incarceration, care and slaughter.

We will look to subsidise organic farmers, including the organic farming of fish such as salmon where cruelty continues on an unimaginable scale under old methods.

We will invest heavily in ensuring we have enough inspectors to properly regulate abattoirs.

We will review and end the practice of exporting live animals for slaughter.

The Traditional Democrats will eradicate forms of cruelty such as hare causing and badger baiting, we will ensure we have the necessary manpower to stop these cruel practises.

We will work closely with and enter into a dialogue with all parties who have an interest in the protection of animals from cruelty and unnecessary suffering.

Please contact us with your views on how we can all work together to end the suffering of animals not only in the UK, but also around the world.

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