Animal Welfare Party

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Animal Welfare Party
Leader Vanessa Hudson[1]
Nominating Officer Jon Homan[1]
Treasurer Louise Cobham QV[1]
Veterinary Advisor Andre Menache BSc (Hons) BVSc MRCVS[1]
Founded December 2, 2006
Headquarters Postal address: Animal Welfare Party, 71 -75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ
Ideology Animal welfare
International affiliation Euro Animal 7

Animal Welfare Party (AWP) is a minor political party in the United Kingdomcampaigning on an animal rights, environment and health platform.[2]

The party aims to bring attention to animal welfare, environmental and health issues, in a manner similar to its Dutch equivalent, Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals),[3] for which the AWP founder, Jasmijn de Boo, stood in the 2004 European elections.[4][5] Both de Boo and the current[when?] leader, Vanessa Hudson, have likened the AWP to the anti-slavery and universal suffrage movements.[6][7] The party says it has more than 100 members and over 14,000 supporters, mainly in London and Wales.


The party was founded in December 2006 by Jasmijn de Boo, a Dutch national, of Kennington, London, and Shaun Rutherford of Milford Haven, Wales, as Animals Count!.[6] The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on 22 January 2007.[9]

Vanessa Hudson (2010)

In October 2010, the party elected a new leader, Vanessa Hudson, whose aims are to increase awareness of the party and to expand its membership. In 2013, the party changed its name from Animals Count! to the Animal Welfare Party.[10]

In June 2013, Hudson joined leaders from other animal protection parties from across Europe in a meeting in The Hague organised by the Animal Politics Foundation of the Netherlands.[11]At this meeting the animal protection parties of the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the UK discussed ways in which they could work together more effectively. Later that month, Hudson announced that the Animal Welfare Party would stand in the London region in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

The party says it was one of seven European animal protection parties contesting the 2014 European Parliament elections with the aim of returning dedicated representatives for animals to the EU Parliament for the first time.[12] This European group of parties has become known informally as the EuroAnimal7 and includes PvdD of The Netherlands, PACMA of Spain, PAN of Portugal, Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz of Germany, Djurens Parti of Sweden and Animal Party Cyprus.


AWP’s policies for Europe include:[2]

  • Re-directing EU subsidies (currently averaging 50 billion euros per year) away from livestock and fisheries farming and into plant-based agriculture
  • Promoting healthy, plant-based lifestyle initiatives through public health and education campaigns
  • Opposing the production and import of genetically manipulated crops anywhere in Europe
  • Labelling all products clearly with information which allows consumers to make informed choices in line with their own principles on the environment, health, animal welfare and the social circumstances in which a product is produced
  • Phasing out farming practices and systems with poor welfare consequences for animals
  • Ending live animal export
  • Reducing journey times for animals travelling to slaughter and further ‘fattening’
  • Phasing out animal experimentation with binding targets for reduction combined with funding and real support for alternatives
  • Ending cultural traditions that involve cruelty to animals, such as bullfighting and foie gras production
  • A ban on the production and sale of fur within Europe
  • Ending EU subsidy of rearing bulls for bullfighting (currently estimated to be 129.6 million euros per year)
  • Halting EU funding of Romania’s ‘Rabies Eradication Programme’ until the stray animal ‘Catch and Kill’ policy is replaced by ‘Spay and Neuter’
  • Ensuring proper enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation across all EU member states

Electoral history[edit]

The party initially intended to stand in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2007.[13] In the London Assembly election, 2008, de Boo stood in Lambeth and Southwark,[14] receiving 1,828 votes (1.12%).[15] The party sponsored an electoral list of three candidates for the 2009 European Parliament election in the East of England,[16] receiving 13,201 votes (0.8%).[17]

In the United Kingdom general election, 2010, the party contested one seat, which it did not win. The party sponsored an electoral list of eight candidates for the 2014 European Parliament election in the London region, receiving 21,092 votes (0.96%). None were elected. Four AWP candidates contested the 2015 general election. None were elected. They stood in the 2016 London Assembly elections, receiving 1% of the vote and not having any candidates elected.

Elections contested[edit]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

General election, 6 May 2010
Note: Standing as “Animals Count”

Constituency Candidate Votes  %
Islington S, & Finsbury Richard Deboo 149 0.3[18]

General election, 7 May 2015

Constituency Candidate Votes  %
Hackney, N & Stoke Newington Jon Homan 225 0.5[19]
Holborn & St Pancras Vanessa Hudson 173 0.3[20]
Kensington Andrew Knight 158 0.5[21]
Putney Guy Dessoy 184 0.4[22]

Scottish Parliament election, 5 May 2016

Region Votes  %
Glasgow 1,819 0.1[23]

European Parliament elections[edit]

2009 European elections
Note: Standing as “Animals Count”

Regional lists Candidates Votes  % MEPs
East of England 13,201 0.8 0[24]

2014 European elections

Regional lists Candidates Votes  % MEPs
London 21,092 0.96 0[25]

See also