Chicken on a higher welfare farm looking straight at the camera

Why the general election must address animal welfare



After months of speculation a general election has now been called. On 4 July 2024 we will go to the polls. Issues set to dominate the election campaign are the cost-of-living crisis, the state of our public services, the economy, and immigration.

But whilst these concerns cast a long shadow, as animal lovers, we mustn’t lose sight that there is a deepening crisis facing animals around the world. Our food system is broken. Factory farming is the biggest cause of animal cruelty globally, yet this isn’t ‘another place’ problem, it’s happening here in the UK, with the number of factory farms increasing every year, leading to climate change, pollution, antibiotic resistance, and habitat destruction.

Across the world, wild animals and their habitats are treated as commodities and ruthlessly exploited on an industrial scale. They are confined, abused or killed for tourists’ entertainment, for the latest fashion trend, used as pets or for trophies to be hung on a wall.

We must change the way the world works by stopping the corporate greed which fuels the relentless exploitation of animals and their natural habitats. Animal protection has to be a priority issue for the next government. The health and future of animals, people and planet depends on it.

The general election offers an opportunity for the public and political parties to be courageous in advocating for an end to animal cruelty and suffering. The next few years will be absolutely pivotal in defining how we respond to the existential threats of climate change and biodiversity collapse. We can’t tackle these threats without addressing our relationship with animals and the natural world. We must address the root causes of animal cruelty and recognise the value of animals as sentient creatures, who deserve good lives, free from cruelty and exploitation.

Politicians never listen more closely to what their voters have to say than before a general election. Whilst animal welfare might not be at the centre of TV debates or splashed across front pages during the election campaign, we can make sure our new representatives know these are issues of huge importance to us. We won’t stop there. Together we will continue the fight for a better world for all animals.

A pig is looking out of a cage. It looks sad and frightened.

World Animal Protection's General Election Manifesto

General Election 2024

There is a deepening crisis facing animals around the world, which affects every single one of us and our planet.

Read our manifesto
More about