“We Are The Majority” - Says New Animal Party
“We Are The Majority” - Says New Animal Party
A bold new political party that will unveil serious failings with the animal welfare policies of the two main political parties is being launched today. The Party for the Animals is New Zealand’s first party that truly represents animals and it says it intends to make animal welfare an election issue.
“We are the majority, and we are here to make real change!” says party spokes-animal Mr Sparky. “Our new party is giving humans the chance to give we animals real representation.”
“There are over 140 million farmed animals upon which this country’s economy depends, most of them raised in barren, factory-farm conditions,” Mr Sparky says. “In a true MMP system we should have representation,” he says. “If we could vote it would change the outcome of the election.”
The Party will field four list candidates and campaign on a platform of four main policies. Factory farming is the number one issue that “is the prime example of humankind’s inhumanity to animalkind,” says Mr Sparky.
Party leader, Ms Grandma, has had personal experience of battery cages. “Three million of we hens suffer a living caged-nightmare, each with less space than an A4 piece of paper. This is simply to provide humans with ‘cheap-as’ eggs. It’s not good enough!” says Ms Grandma.
“The government is continually saying ‘animal welfare is a high priority’, but we say this is cow manure! It looks likely cages will remain, in some form, far into the future and we must stand up and fight against this,” she adds.
“New Zealand is our home, too. We outnumber New Zealanders by nearly fifty to one but right now, millions of us are suffering inside factory farms and laboratories or being held captive for use in the racing and entertainment industries,” says Mr Sparky.
“We need voters to think of us on 26 November. Please help us – vote for a better future for us all.”
POLITICAL SURVEY ON ANIMAL WELFARE
The Party for the Animals wishes to thank advocacy group SAFE, who has conducted an election survey to ask the human parties where they stand on animal welfare.
The survey reveals serious shortfalls within the main parties.
“We feel National and Labour are letting animals down, especially factory-farmed animals. If elected, both parties are likely to continue to allow cages for hens, which is simply unacceptable,” says SAFE campaign director Eliot Pryor.
“SAFE is very happy to see the Party for the Animals launched,” says Mr Pryor. “SAFE has always been ‘the voice for all animals’ but we can now let the animals stand up and speak for themselves. We support the Party for the Animals 100 per cent.”
PARTY LAUNCH TODAY
Party for the Animals will officially launch at 11am today (7 November) in Western Park on Ponsonby Road.
The launch will be marked by the erection of the first party hoarding and billboard.
For more information contact SAFE campaign director Eliot Pryor at: 021 189 9226
NOTES FOR EDITOR
Results of the survey can be found at: http://safe.org.nz/Campaigns/Politics-and-animals/
The Party for the Animals information at: http://www.voteanimals.org.nz
ANIMAL PARTY POLICY
The Animal Party is standing on four main policy initiatives.
1) Stop factory farming: it's about the
Millions of us animals, such as the hens that lay eggs in battery cages, continue to suffer in dark sheds far away from any help. While many more of you people are choosing cruelty-free products in the supermarket, politicians continue to drag their feet. Although battery cages will one day be phased out, cruel colony cages are poised to become the new cage for hens.
Ban battery cages as soon as possible and let's stop colony cages! Hens have suffered too long.
2) Establish a Ministry of Animal Welfare: it's about the animals.
At present, animal welfare is the job of the Minister of Agriculture. But since the Minister has to look after the industries first, the laws are made first for the benefit of the farmer-people, scientist-people, and business-people; not for the animals themselves. If there was to be a ‘Ministry of Animal Welfare', with the task of looking after our needs as animals, then we would be playing on a more level playing field. It's hard to believe there isn't one already!
Recognise animals are sentient beings
A wise person in the nineteenth century, Jeremy Bentham, made the observation 'the question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but "Can they suffer?'. It needs to be recognised in all legislation affecting animals that we are sentient beings, can experience pleasure and pain, and can suffer.
As you may know from sharing time with companion animals, all of us have strong personalities, form bonds with our young, and can experience pain. Animals have the right to live their lives free from avoidable suffering at the hands of humans.
4) What's for dinner? It's about the
New Zealanders have a high consumption of animals and animal products. The truth is that meat and dairy products are not necessary, or necessarily good for you, and definitely not good for us, the animals! Even if you're not vegetarian or vegan, simply cutting down consumption will limit animal suffering
MRS GRANDMA, Party leader
Mrs Grandma is an old hen at eight years of age, having escaped the certain death all farmed hens face at the age of 18 months. Mrs Grandma loves to run around throughout the day, digging up worms and scratching in the grass for seeds.
Mrs Grandma now works to raise awareness of the plight of battery hens.
• There are three million layer
hens producing eggs, living in barren cages.
• They live on average 18 months, standing on wire, and some are debeaked.
• As part of the current Code review, battery cages are proposed to be phased out over the next 15 years, but equally cruel colony cages would replace them.
• There are 90 million chickens raised for meat in factory farming conditions.
MR SPARKY, Party spokes-animal
Mr Sparky is a young calf, who was caught in an electric fence injuring his leg, but is rehabilitating well. He's one of the lucky ones - a male calf not sent off for veal at five days of age.
Mr Sparky is concerned with the welfare for all species, but has special responsibility to speak out on behalf of cows being worked in the dairy industry.
• Dairy is an intensive industry that puts
severe stress on the bodies of cows to produce as much milk
• Cubicle cow farms are being introduced.
• About a third of farms use induction, the practice of aborting healthy cows early in order for the herd to start milking at the same time.
MS ROSIE, Party list candidate
Ms Rosie had a hard start to life when her original family abandoned her in a field, but feels that it was nothing compared to pigs living in factory farming conditions.
While happy that sow crates are being phased out, Ms Rosie wants to make a difference for the pigs sentenced to a life of suffering in farrowing crates and concrete fattening pens.
• Around 800,000 pigs are
farmed and killed each year in New Zealand.
• While sow crates are to be phased out over the next four years, farrowing crates will still be allowed for sows that have given birth.
• Piglets are kept in barren ‘fattening pens' to raise them to slaughter age.
MS NELLIE , Party list candidate
Ms Nellie was, until recently, leading a typical goat-life, chained alone on the roadside to keep the grass down. Since gaining her freedom she has dedicated the rest of her days to working for others, especially on issues concerning all companion animals.
• The demand for pet store animals supports a breeding industry that results in large numbers of animals being needlessly killed.
• Puppy mills exist in New Zealand to produce ‘designer dogs' such as ‘labradoodles'.
• In New Zealand, tethered goats lead to more complaints to MAF and the SPCA than any other animal.