Similar political parties for animals worldwide
Animals Count is part of a global movement of recognising the rights of animals, like those of people, in the political arena. Animal protection is no longer marginalised, but at the centre of people's concerns. In addition to NGO's, political parties can make a world of difference for animals, the environment and people.
Before coming to the UK Jasmijn de Boo, co-founder and Chair of Animals Count, was actively involved in the successful Dutch political 'Party for the Animals' (in Dutch 'Partij voor de dieren') and she was a candidate for the 2004 European Parliament elections when the Party for the Animals almost gained a seat.
The Dutch Party for the Animals has been the most successful animal protection party so far with 20 democratically elected representatives at national and regional level. On 22 November 2006 they won two seats (almost 2% of all votes) in Dutch National Parliament! Since March 2007 the Party for the Animals has nine representatives in the Provincial States, the world's first animal rights senator was inaugurated in the Senate on 12th June 2007, and eight representatives were elected in the November 2008 district water board elections.
Other political parties for animals worldwide
Similar political parties for animals in Europe include:
- Die Tierrechtspartei in Austria (who contested the Austrian national elections on 28 September 2008; here for their results)
- La France en Action, an ecological party
- Die Tierschutzpartei, founded in 1993 in Germany, and which intends to contest the June 2009 European Parliament elections
- Il Partito Animalista Italiano which recently formed an alliance with two other Italian political parties in order to contest the June 2008 European Parliament elections together.
- PACMA, the Partido Antitaurino Contra el Maltrato Animal (the Spanish Political Party against mistreatment of Animals). PACMA won more than 13,000 votes in the Catalunya elections on 1st November 2006 and more than 41,000 votes in March 2008
Similar initiatives in other countries include:
- The Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada (who contested the federal elections on the 14th of October; click here for more information)
- Latet Lihyot ('Let Live', website in Hebrew) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Recent Tel Aviv elections were held on 11th November 2008 and Latet Lihyot received 4.5% of the votes (6,269 votes) which was enough for 1 seat in the city council!
Jonathan Shpigel commented: 'An elected member at the city council is not paid; it is a voluntary position, but a very desired one: 18 parties participated in the elections in Tel Aviv and there are only 31 seats. Only 7 parties received more votes than Latet Lihyot.
- The Australian 'Ban Live Exports Party' was a coalition of animal protection groups formed in January 2004, and campaigned against the export of sheep to the Middle East. They focused on marginal political seats, but did not expect to win any of these seats themselves. Instead, they applied pressure to the dominant Labour Party to improve its position on live exports or risk losing key seats, using the Australian system of preferential voting.
There is obviously a need for political parties that represent animals due to growing concern for animals worldwide.
10 January 2009 (last updated)