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Animal welfare should be a key issue for voters

AS campaigning in the local government elections commences, candidates are setting out their views on various issues to entice people to vote for them.

Like a well-rehearsed mantra, the usual issues like unemployment, the state of our local services and social inclusion are trotted out. But one issue that fails to get a mention is animal welfare. With a few exceptions, our politicians have failed to embrace the issue of animal welfare and its relevance within our society. Attempts by lobby groups to raise animal welfare issues at local level have met with political cowardice and hostility.

Fossilised politicians find the concept of progressive thinking towards the treatment of the non-human members of our society impossible to comprehend. It is only through legislation that a difference to an animal's life can be achieved. I would appeal to readers to raise the issue of animal welfare with aspiring local election candidates.

Ask them what actions are they taking to put animal welfare issues on the political agenda. Should they respond by saying human welfare issues are their priority and animals are there for us to use, tell them they have lost your vote.

Animal welfare and human welfare issues are entwined. How we treat the non-human members of society is a reflection on how we treat humans. By voting for compassionate candidates, you are giving a voice to the voiceless.


Association of Hunt Saboteurs

Belfast Telegraph