Animals got important political recognition last weekend at the Green Party of Ontario annual convention in Calabogie, Ontario.
Party members voted overwhelmingly in favour of four separate policy resolutions related to animal protection, including one that adopts key measures in Animal Justice’s Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The policies adopted as official party policy* include:
- Supporting the creation of an Animal Bill of Rights, which recognizes that nonhuman animals are sentient and deserve legal rights, including the right to be represented in court;
- Abolishing battery cage farming systems for hens quickly, instead of the twenty year timeline proposed by the egg industry;
- Ending abusive farm breeding practices that cause animals like chickens to grow so quickly that they experience systemic, chronic pain;
- Banning animal testing for cosmetic and household products, requiring alternatives to animal research, and funding cruelty-free teaching tools like models and interactive videos.
Green Party member Temara Brown, a co-sponsor of the resolutions, stated, “Animals need us not only to speak for them but also to ensure we keep them in mind when we vote. As animal advocates, we must be unequivocal in demanding these reforms from our legislators. If they will not listen, we simply must ensure we elect those who will.”
It’s not just the Green Party that understands that our laws and policies protecting animals aren’t good enough. Politicians of all stripes in all provinces are slowly responding to voter demand for better laws. For instance, Ontario’s Liberal government moved last year to ban keeping orca whales in captivity.
Voters are also keeping animals in mind at the ballot box. When Humane Voters Canada — Animal Justice’s political wing — endorsed animal-friendly candidates in the last federal election, nearly all of them were elected to Parliament.
Membership-driven policy conventions are an important way to drive animal protection policies forward within political parties, ultimately resulting in critical legislative change for animals. Contact Animal Justice today for assistance in proposing policy changes at political party conventions.
*Note: Links are to the original resolutions. Policies may have been amended before adoption.