World Animal Protection staff wearing a branded t-shirt during a meeting

World Animal Protection welcomes Liberal Democrats newly announced plans to make improvements for animals in their election manifesto


Peter Kemple Hardy, World Animal Protection UK's Campaigns Director, responded to Liberal Democrat’s plans.

The Liberal Democrats manifesto includes many important pledges to help fix our broken food system, including ending some of the worst welfare practices in British farming such as caged hens, implementing stricter rules on antibiotic use in farming and protecting British farmers from being undercut by low-welfare imports. We urge all parties to commit to ambitious action that puts nature-friendly farming at the heart of a humane and sustainable food system.

Key measures in Liberal Democrat’s animal welfare plans 

  • Improving standards of animal health and welfare in agriculture, including a ban on caged hens, and preventing unnecessarily painful practices in farming. 
  • At least matching the EU’s stricter rules on preventative use of antibiotics, and introducing a comprehensive plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance in farm animals. 
  • Ensuring all imported food meets UK standards for health and welfare, and that goods are properly checked. 
  • Introducing a range of other ‘public money for public goods’ programmes, such as nature recovery, planting trees and protecting wildlife, contingent on farmers and land managers opting into an Environmental Land Management scheme. 
  • Exploring additional funding options to ensure an intelligent transition to better farming practices. 
  • Using public procurement policy to support the consumption of food produced to high standards of environmental and social sustainability, and which is nutritious, healthy and locally and seasonally sourced. 
  • Passing a comprehensive new Animal Welfare Bill to ensure the highest standards possible. 
  • Ensuring that no animal product that would be illegal to produce in the UK can be sold here, including foie gras and food produced with antibiotic growth promoters. 

Other key actions World Animal Protection need to see from the next government 

 Whichever party forms the next government, we want to see take action to stop wild animals being cruelly exploited as commodities by the global systems that profit from it. This includes reintroducing a government-backed bill to ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered species. 

The Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Act, which has made the domestic sale and promotion of certain low-welfare activities abroad illegal in parts of the UK, must be implemented comprehensively by the next government to include activities such as elephant riding, dolphin entertainment, and tourist interactions with big cats, great apes, and sloths.   

Additionally, there is an urgent need to ban the import, transshipment, and sale of fashion products made from wild animals, such as fur, wild animal skins, and feathers.  

Wild animals cannot have their basic welfare needs met in captivity. These products are either illegal to produce in the UK or made under unacceptably low welfare conditions abroad which would not be permitted in the UK.  

It’s encouraging that animal welfare has been prioritised in this way and is now on the political agenda and we eagerly anticipate other party’s commitments to animals. 

Pregnant pig resting in straw in a higher welfare indoor farm in the UK.

Together, we can move the world to protect animals

The upcoming UK General Election holds significant potential for shaping the future of animal protection and welfare. There is a deepening crisis facing animals around the world, which affects every single on of us and our planet.

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