There are 48 days and counting until the UK’s In/Out EU referendum on June 23rd. How are you going to vote? Remain, or Leave?
I was half tempted to join the Brexit camp, just because I’d rather stick pins in my eyes than give my support to our revered PM on ANYTHING. But I was brought to my senses – as always, the animals prevailed. For people who love animals, one question really matters:
Will animals be better off if we stay, or if we go?
This letter from a cross-party group of MPs, which includes our lovely Kerry, Shadow Secretary for EFRA, published in the Guardian on 29th April, makes a good case to Remain:
It’s important to consider how animal protection would be affected, were the UK to leave the EU. By working with other nations, international issues such as illegal trafficking of wildlife and destruction of habitats can be addressed far more effectively. The EU is at the forefront of fighting cosmetics cruelty, having banned cosmetics testing on animals as well as the sale of animal-tested cosmetic ingredients – shaping industry and regulatory practice worldwide. The EU has raised welfare standards for farm animals, for example, banning the confinement of breeding sows in narrow stalls.
Individual governments can come under significant pressure from corporate lobbyists to weaken or remove binding standards on animal protection. In this context, EU-wide minimum standards to tackle animal cruelty are more important than ever.
The Scottish National Party want us to remain. They first sentence of the document they’ve published says: “The European Union plays a key role when it comes to guaranteeing the welfare of animals across Europe, something guaranteed in European treaty.”
Click here to see what Compassion in World Farming has to say. They are only talking about farmed animals of course, but they offer a user-friendly summary. Two points I would add. Firstly, because traditionally the UK has led the way in animal welfare, by remaining we have the opportunity to influence for the better future EU legislation, as we have done in the past. And secondly, as I may have already mentioned, Europe protects animals from the worst that this animal-hating government can throw at them! Those two things may seem contradictory, but we won’t be saddled with the Tories for ever, I hope!
The RSPCA also sets out the Pros and Cons arguments, while remaining strictly neutral and non-political.
One more reason I’m voting to Remain
Many animal advocacy organisations are either working on a Europe-wide basis, or are starting to join forces with their european counterparts.
Surely we are stronger together for animals?
The European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals Click on this final link for a comprehensive list of the EU’s achievements for animals.
Citizens want a Europe that cares for animals. Now we should get on and build it.
Reinere Hamelgers CEO Eurogroup for Animals