New political party for animal rights

A new political party has been set up to campaign for animal rights in the UK.

The Animals Count party will be focusing on several animal rights issues including campaigning against the live transport of animals and for an end to intense farming pra

A new political party has been set up to campaign for animal rights in the UK.

The Animals Count party will be focusing on several animal rights issues including campaigning against the live transport of animals and for an end to intense farming practices. The party is linked to the Dutch Party for Animals, which last month became the first animal rights party to win seats in a European parliament.

The party's launch at the Kensington Town Hall, London was attended by 200 people. Commenting at the event Jasmijn de Boo, chairman of the party said: "First slaves were liberated, then women and children. Now it is time to do the same for animals." The party has pledged it will 'avoid the violent tactics often associated with the animal rights movement'.

As well as campaigning for an end to intensive farming systems with poor welfare consequences and the transportation of animals to continental Europe the party will also be addressing issues such as animal testing and calling for a ban "without loopholes" on hunting. The party's line on non animal issues such as education, public services and the economy has yet to be finalised.

De Boo commented: "We intend to contest the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2007, and one third of the seats there, 20 seats, are open to proportional representation, so I think it is definitely possible to get an MP in the Welsh Assembly. Then we will later extend the work into England and Scotland."

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