While in office Labour has had a good track record. As well as the hunting ban, Labour has brought in a new Animal Welfare Act, banned fur factory farming, driftnet fishing (which helps protect dolphins and sea birds) and the testing of cosmetics, toiletries, alcohol and tobacco on animals. Labour has also refused to license any testing on great apes (such as chimpanzees) and established the National Centre for the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animals in Research which provides research into alternatives to animal testing. During 2009 it was the Labour government and Labour MEPs whose work and commitment was crucial in securing a European Union-wide ban on the commercial trade in seal products.
More could and should have been done – it is a disgrace that we still allow wild animal performances in circuses, for instance – but no other government has done as much for animals. Ever.