During general elections political parties adopt different strategies to how they respond to the many questionnaires candidates receive. For example, it appears that the Conservative Party is not responding to surveys about animal welfare. Uncaged, which is running the Vote 4 Animals campaign, confirm my suspicion that the standard text which Conservative candidates are distributing is this one.

Conservatives are strongly committed to raising animal welfare standards in the UK and internationally. We established the Farm Animal Welfare Council, an independent advisory body which reviews the welfare of farm animals and advises Government of changes necessary. We called for the Animal Welfare Act, worked hard to improve the legislation, and now believe the legislation must be properly enforced. We support a ban on conventional battery cages for laying hens and will work within the EU and internationally to achieve common agreement on further measures to improve animal welfare. We are concerned by the upward trend in the use of animals in scientific procedures, and support the concept of the ‘three R’s’ of refinement, reduction and replacement – to replace animals in research with non-animal alternatives, reduce the number of animals in experiments and refine procedures to minimise suffering. There should be an end to animal testing on household products. Conservatives will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act, on a free vote, with a government bill in government time.

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