Manifesto to give animals a voice

Monday, March 15, 2010
(London - 15 March 2010) - The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today launched its manifesto to ensure key animal welfare and conservation issues are considered by candidates ahead of the 2010 General Election.

IFAW’s ‘Missing a Voice’ manifesto spells out areas of concern in the marine environment, trade in endangered species and hunting with dogs in the UK, as well as solutions which would offer greater protection. IFAW in Action encourages members of the public and potential parliamentary candidates to visit the website www.ifaw.org/missingavoice. Voters can email their local candidates to ask where they stand on these important issues and candidates can post their views on the site.

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said: “This manifesto sets out our vision of the responsibilities and challenges that face the next UK Government on key animal welfare issues. We hope that the website will help inform the public on where their candidates stand and remind candidates about the public’s strength of feeling on animal welfare and conservation. Please speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”

In the marine environment, whales face many threats including commercial whaling and man-made ocean noise pollution. IFAW urges the next UK Government along with other anti-whaling nations to renew high-level diplomatic efforts to end whaling, to work through the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to phase out all commercial whaling and to work to ensure man-made ocean noise is properly regulated.

Commercial seal hunting sees thousands of seals suffer cruel, painful deaths just so their fur can be used to make luxury items for the fashion industry. IFAW urges the future UK Government to support and enforce the new EU ban on the commercial trade in seal products, and to renew diplomatic efforts with Canada and other sealing nations to seek an end to commercial seal hunting. In the UK, IFAW calls for new legislation to protect seals from indiscriminate killing, and to protect them from bycatch in fishing gear.

The future of elephants is under threat due to increased poaching for the ivory trade. IFAW urges the next UK Government to take a strong stand against ivory stockpile sales and any future ivory trade, and to support conservation efforts in elephant range states. IFAW also calls for high-level diplomatic efforts to end the trade in tiger parts and robust domestic legislation on Internet wildlife trade.

The Hunting Act 2004 was introduced because the majority of the UK public found the practice of chasing and killing wild mammals for fun abhorrent. IFAW urges the future UK Government to ensure effective enforcement of the Act, including nationwide training for police and CPS.

For more detailed information on the threats to species and solutions, visit www.ifaw.org/missingavoice and view the manifesto in full.

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