Research released on 16th February 2023 by the international wildlife charity Born Free has shown that nearly 90% of the 2000 UK residents polled believe it to be very or quite important for the next UK government to include commitments to improving wild animal welfare (88%), tackling wildlife crime (88%), and improving wildlife protection (89%) in their political manifestos for next elections.
With the UK now less than two years from a General Election, this polling by Opinion Matters, commissioned by Born Free which has launched its own wildlife conservation and animal welfare manifesto, has also revealed 76% of those surveyed believe it is very or quite important the next UK government phase out the keeping of large animals in zoos, wildlife parks and other captive facilities; 85% of respondents agreed the next UK government should introduce a ban on British hunters bringing ‘trophies’ of endangered or vulnerable animals into Britain; 83% agreed the next UK government should tighten the rules on the trade and keeping of exotic pets; 82% agreed the next UK government should use its influence, via trade deals etc., to bring an end to overseas activities that involve animal cruelty, such as the slaughter of dolphins in the Faroes.
Dr Mark Jones, Born Free’s Head of Policy, said in a press release, “Practices in the UK such as trail hunting, the appropriation of huge tracts of land for the shooting of game birds and hares for sport, and the culling of badgers, result in animal destruction and suffering on a massive scale. Wild animals are traded and kept in zoos and private homes in ever-increasing numbers. Wildlife crime continues to have devastating impacts on individual animals, wildlife habitats, and wider society. Far too little is being done to effectively protect and restore our natural fauna and flora or safeguard the welfare of wild animals.”
Will Travers OBE, Born Free’s Co-Founder and Executive President, added, “A healthy natural world is critical for our health and well-being. Healthy wildlife and healthy ecosystems also play a huge part in limiting the effects of climate change and protecting us from future pandemics.”