Almost half of brits ‘more likely’ to support a parliamentary candidate if they’re an animal lover

dog playing in garden

A new survey has found that a commitment to animal welfare can play a key role in influencing whether a parliamentary candidate or party leader will be supported by a member of the public.

The survey of 2,041 UK adults, from leading animal welfare charity, Battersea, and research platform Focaldata, found that 44 per cent of people reported knowing an MP or their party leader is committed to animal welfare would make them more likely to support this candidate, with almost as many (39 per cent) also stating that a political party’s animal welfare policies or promises would influence who they voted for.

This sentiment was particularly strong with 18- to 24-year-olds (57 per cent), many of whom will be eligible to vote in a general election for the first time.

There have been many missed opportunities for Parliament to improve animal welfare in the UK

Despite clear support from the public for animal welfare to be included on the political agenda, there have been many missed opportunities for Parliament to improve animal welfare in the UK. In recent years less than a third of proposed legislation relating to dog and cat welfare was ultimately passed in to law.

The lives of animals like Fudge will continue to be at risk unless animal welfare is prioritised by the incoming Government. The young dog arrived at Battersea’s London centre earlier this year with ears that had been cruelly mutilated before she was imported to the UK where the barbaric procedure is illegal. Animal charities have long campaigned for Parliament to act to close this loophole on the painful procedure known as ‘ear cropping’, but after many delays, two Bills addressing the issue failed to pass into law.

Countless pets are also given up by loving owners because there aren’t enough pet friendly properties available to rent. Clauses within the high-profile Renters Reform Bill would have addressed this imbalance, preventing pets and their owners from being parted, but this Bill too failed to pass.

Michael Webb, Battersea’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs, said, “Here at Battersea we have spent decades using our voice for dogs and cats, campaigning for positive changes to the law that would better protect animals across the UK. For every hard-fought success we’ve had, such as significantly increasing sentences for animal cruelty, there have been many more Bills that have failed to cross the finish line.

“We know that the public are incredibly supportive of more being done to improve animal welfare in the UK and are encouraging them to ask several key questions to people seeking their vote. We also urge all parliamentary candidates to speak with their communities about this important issue ahead of the election.”

This is a guest post by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Want to write for us? Visit www.dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/essay-submission or email [email protected].

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