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Animal Welfare Party gains first UK representative
AWP leader Venessa Hudson said the UK has a proud history of thought leadership in animal welfare.

Move an important milestone in the party’s history 

Green Party member Jane Smith has switched political parties to become the first UK representative of the Animal Welfare Party (AWP).

Announcing her decision on Monday (4 September) Smith, a serving councillor on Alsager Town Council, said that she made the decision because she believes it is important ‘that we begin to acknowledge and address the inherent unfairness of our human-centric decision making bodies.’

“Although the step I take today may appear small, I believe it is of huge symbolic significance,” she said. “We share our world and our natural resources with so many other species and it is only right and fair that those other animals and their habitats are properly represented and considered in our decision making.”

Established 10 years ago, the AWP is based on the highly successful Dutch ‘Party for Animals’, which holds five seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.

In May 2016, AWP contested the Northern Ireland and Scottish Parliament elections for the first time, in addition to contesting the London Assembly Elections in which the party won 25,810 votes (1%).

In this years’ General Election, AWP contested three London constituencies, while veterinary surgeon and professor of animal welfare Andrew Knight stood for AWP in Maidenhead.

Responding to Smith’s move to AWP, party leader Vanessa Hudson said: “The UK has a proud history of thought leadership in animal welfare and it’s high time animals had dedicated representatives in our decision making bodies. Only that way can their needs and interests begin to be properly protected. With today’s news, AWP takes its first steps to joining our sister parties in the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Australia who have already achieved that for animals.”

“We are delighted that Jane has joined us enabling the UK to take this important step.’ Hudson continued, “We welcome her into our party and look forward to supporting her continued good work for people, animals and the environment in Alsager and beyond.”

Image (C) Reetsyn8/Wikimedia

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Scheme to protect wildlife and reduce flooding

News Story 1
 Natural England has announced a new scheme to improve flood protection, boost wildlife and create 160 hectares of new saltmarsh. The £6 million scheme in Lancashire will effectively unite the RSPB’s Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve and Natural England’s Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve. The completed reserve will be the largest site of its kind in the north of England. 

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Welfare event to discuss ethical dilemmas faced by vets

Students and ethics experts will host an event on the difficult moral challenges facing vets. Ethical issues, such as euthanasia and breeding animals for certain physical traits, will be discussed by prominent speakers including TV vet Emma Milne and RSPCA chief vet James Yeates. Other topics will include how to tackle suspected animal abuse and the extent of surgical intervention.

The conference will look at how these dilemmas affect the wellbeing of vets, and explore how to better prepare veterinary students for work. It will be held at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus from 30 September - 1 October 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.