Below is a guest post by the animal and human rights activist and supporter of free software Luis Leonel
ANIMAL HERO: JEREMY BERNARD CORBYN
JEREMY BERNARD CORBYN has been a long-time campaigner on animal rights issues. He was one of the first signatories to Tony Banks’ “Pigeon Bombs” Early Day Motion and in 2015 signed a motion calling for a ban on the importation of foie gras into the United Kingdom and sponsored a motion opposing the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. He also sponsored two Early Day Motions relating to the McLibel case.
“Alongside our shared commitments to human rights and environmental justice, our party has a strong commitment to animal welfare. As a vegetarian all my adult life, I have used my position in parliament to advocate for greater animal welfare protection.
The last Labour government achieved much to reduce animal suffering: banning hunting with dogs, securing an end to cosmetic testing, banning fur farming, and introducing the Animal Welfare Act. I supported all these measures.
One of the first set of questions I tabled after I was elected to Parliament in 1983 was about the use of animals in tobacco research experiments. I also campaigned against the use of primates in research, and I negotiated tougher regulations with ministers on how they are imported for use in research, and as pets, under the Animal Welfare Act.
In this Parliament I will continue my lifelong opposition to hunting with dogs. I have also voted, spoken and campaigned for a ban on wild animals in circuses and I opposed the badger cull in the last Parliament.
I was a childhood opponent of fox hunting growing up in Shropshire. Back then we had otter hunting, badger baiting and hare coursing. Gradually we got legislation to end all these awful practices. It was my old friend Tony Banks who finally got the badger as a protected species – I was quoted in the press calling it ‘A Good Day for Brock’ when it finally went through.
I have supported the campaign against the dog meat trade, as well as campaigning to ban imports of foie gras, following India’s welcome lead on this issue.
Our country and our party have much to be proud of on animal welfare, but we still have further to go to match the best practice around the world. This is another reason why we must resist the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would threaten the European and national legislative protections that we have campaigned together to achieve.
If elected leader, I pledge that a Labour government in 2020 will continue to advance our animal welfare protections so that they are the best in the world – and I hope that you will hold me to that pledge.”