2009 European Parliament


Good election result: 13,201 votes in the Eastern region

Actor Nicholas Ball and campaign teamAnimals Count is pleased with the election result of 13,201 votes in the Eastern region, which placed us ahead of two other parties and an Independent candidate. We did not campaign in Norfolk and with limited resources we reached less than 10% of the electorate. The number of votes would have been much higher had we been able to reach everyone. We would like to thank all volunteers and sponsors who have helped make our campaign successful!

9 June 2009

Guardian 4 June: What are the chances for Animals Count?

2 June: Jasmijn de Boo and Richard Deboo on campaign trail in Suffolk

EastEnders actor Nicholas Ball features in feel-good politics video clip

Jasmijn and Nicholas at the EU election campaign launch, 18 April 2009On 1st June EastEnders actor Nicholas Ball (famous for his role as Hazell in the seventies) got the ball rolling for Animals Count. He joined candidates Jasmijn de Boo and Richard Deboo on a trip to Towerhill Stables Animal Sanctuary in Asheldham, Essex, where cows and goats went to the polling station rather than the milking station. The BBC reported this story today in their article Party promises voice for animals.

One of Animals Count’s policies includes government funding for sanctuaries and animal rescue and rehabilitation organisations.

Mr Ball commented: “I am totally disenchanted with all three major parties. Not only from the human perspective, particularly with regard to recent events, but also, and I believe equally importantly, regarding the rights of all the animals with whom we share existence on this planet.

I applaud the aims and ideals of Animals Count, and in particular the idea of supporting animal rescue organisations, such as Towherhill Stables Animal Sanctuary, which depends completely on donations from the public. The abandonment of animals by society represents a moral blind spot.”

2 June 2009

31 May 2009

Manifesto: Because better animal protection requires a European solution

Today Animals Count released its manifesto which, we believe, contains the strongest policies on animal protection of any party contesting the EU elections, combined with solid policies on the environment and other social issues.

The manifesto contains the strongest policies on animal protection of any party contesting the EU elections, combined with solid policies on the environment and other social issues. Other parties have presented not much more than what’s written on the back of an envelope; how will this inform people and inspire confidence in voters? Or demonstrate that candidates are prepared to become an MEP?

Animals Count is different; integrity can be found in selfless people, those who defend the interests of vulnerable beings, those that are not in politics to advance their personal careers. Animals Count will be the voice for the voiceless in the EU, where billions of animals suffer at the hands of people. Our policies are evidence-based and will benefit animals, people and the environment.

24 May 2009

Animals Count first in Eastern region

On 7 May, Animals Count leader Jasmijn de Boo, running mate Alex Bourke and activist Richard Deboo became official candidates for Animals Count in the EU election on 4th June in the Eastern region. Not only are we first listed, out of 14 parties and one independent candidate, Jasmijn de Boo is the only female lead candidate. The Eastern region has been betrayed by some MEPs, one of whom has been arrested for fraud. Animals Count will set things right for animals, people and the environment.

Because the EU elections use a proportional representation voting system, every vote counts, so miss de Boo could be the first UK MEP that stands up for the most forgotten and vulnerable beings in society; the animals!

10 May 2009

EastEnders actor Nicholas Ball kicks off Animals Count’s EU election campaign

Jasmijn and Nicholas BallEastEnders actor Nicholas Ball backed Animals Count’s EU election campaign yesterday during its successful launch in the Royal Horticultural Halls in London. For the first time in UK history, a political party primarily dedicated to protecting the interests of animals will contest the European Parliament elections, in the Eastern region (Herts, Beds, Cambs, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex). The EU elections will take place on 4th June. Animals Count hopes to end farming with poor welfare consequences, long distance animal transport, all hunting for sport, and introduce an EU-wide subsidised basic animal health care system.

During the last few months Animals Count has been raising funds and holding meetings to plan for the EU elections. As part of the EU election regulations, we will have a free mail-out of our election leaflet. We can reach one household for just over one penny; for £13 we can print an extra 1,000 leaflets. This is a one-off opportunity to reach so many people so cheaply. We’re looking to raise more funds in order to print 500,000 leaflets. The Vegan Three Peaks Challenge on 2-3 May aims to raise several thousands of pounds toward this aim. Please sponsor one of the three intrepid climbers.

19 April 2009

More about the candidates:

Leader Jasmijn de BooAnimals Count co-founder, Jasmijn de Boo, MSc, is an animal welfare scientist and experienced teacher with 17 years working in animal protection. She was a candidate for the Dutch Party for the Animals, which received over 153,000 votes in the 2004 EU elections.

Miss de Boo hopes to build on the May 2008 London Assembly Elections, when she received nearly 2,000 votes in the Lambeth/Southwark constituency (when 10,000 leaflets were handed out, so 1 in 5 people voted for Animals Count).

“One of the first things I would be pressing for is a subsidised basic animal health care system for animals so people can give their companion animals the healthcare they deserve without having to pay high vet fees in today’s harsh economic climate.”

Alex BourkeAlex Bourke, Animals Count’s vice-chair, has a degree in mathematics, a masters in computer systems, and was formerly a chartered engineer working for multinationals before setting up a publishing company in 1998 to produce vegan travel guides.

Mr Bourke was a Vegan Society Trustee from 1994-2007 and is experienced in explaining animal and vegetarian issues as a public speaker in the media.

Mr Bourke does not believe in the politics of left and right. He believes in consensus, getting at the truth of issues, and negotiating a way forward where everyone gains. He also speaks four EC languages and Russian.

Richard DebooRichard Deboo, Animals Count activist, is a highly skilled and motivated professional who has been working in The City.

Mr Deboo would like to take the message of Animals Count to the wider electorate and believes we represent a clear distinction from the failed policies of the main political parties. The electorate are dissatisfied and are searching for alternatives.

Mr Deboo is an excellent public speaker on complex and important topics such as the environment, climate change, farming methods, vivisection, and the philosophy and ethics of animal rights.

> All candidates have been vegan, and before turning vegan, vegetarian, for over 25 years. Environmentalists and animal protection leaders who continue to eat meat are not practicing what they preach.

> Other parties will adopt animal policies if they see a high number of votes going to Animals Count, so animals are helped even if we don’t win a seat this time, so every vote really does count!

Get involved in the EU election campaign!

Read our EU 2009 manifesto

EU election leafletShow your support for real action for animals at the EU political level. Click here to find out how you can help.

Revised EU Directive for protection of lab animals watered down

The recent vote by MEPs on the revised EU Directive on animal experimentation (86/609/EEC) to allow severe and prolonged suffering of animals used in research and testing, is a recent example of how badly a party for people and animals is needed in the EU. Prior to the vote, Animals Count President Andrew Knight had sent a letter to almost 100 MEPs, outlining the poor utility of animal experimentation for human clinical and toxicological outcomes. Unfortunately, it seems that the MEPs were heavily briefed by the pharmaceutical and animal research industry.

On 4th June vote for Animals Count in the Eastern region. Because better animal protection requires a European solution!

17 April 2009

Why the European Parliament elections are important:

  • The majority of British laws originate from Brussels, and the fate of many British animals is decided in the EU. The European Parliament (EP) is the most important level of policy- and decision-making for Britain
  • About 80% of the EU agenda is occupied by, and half of the EU budget is spent on, agriculture, particularly the intensive animal farming industry. This is extremely environmentally damaging, frequently cruel to animals, exploitative of workers and wasteful
  • Thousands of wild animal species are threatened with extinction worldwide, due to habitat loss, hunting, global warming and other disasters caused by humans. Many more suffer in the lucrative illegal wildlife trade. Europe needs a comprehensive action plan to reverse these trends
  • Hundreds of thousands of dogs, cats and other companion animals are neglected and abandoned across Europe each year. Many are left on the streets of EU member states, forced to fend for themselves. Responsible pet ownership, subsidised basic animal health care, and effective and humane stray animal management should be introduced in the EU
  • Many other issues require urgent policy and legislative changes, including animal use in research, testing and education; animals cruelly kept and killed for the fur industry; and the harmful use of animals in entertainment (such as bullfights, sponsored with EU funds)

Animals Count co-founder and leader, Jasmijn de Boo MSc, is an animal welfare scientist and experienced teacher, with 17 years working in animal protection. She was a candidate for the Dutch Party for the Animals, which received over 153,000 votes in the 2004 European Parliament elections. The Dutch Party now has 20 elected representatives, including two MPs and one Senator. We believe that UK voters are at least as compassionate about animals.

Please help us give animals a voice in the next European Parliament!

Please vote for Animals Count on 4th June

7 March 2009

2009 European Parliamentary elections

Map of the European UnionBuilding on the success of the May 2008 London Assembly Elections, when Animals Count received nearly 2,000 votes in the Lambeth/Southwark constituency, we are now aiming to contest the European Parliament elections on 4th June 2009. A total of 72 Members of the European Parliament (EP) will be elected in the UK, and Animals Count aims to contest at least one region.

The EP elections are of utmost importance for animals and the environment. Many EU Directives, Conventions and other regulations determine policy relating to animals, and have implications for UK legislation. For example, the EU recently announced a ban on seal products. The EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies and trade regulations have a huge effect on billions of farmed animals, and long distance transport of livestock is cruel and unnecessary.

The EU often sets policy based on the lowest common denominator, while the UK is usually more progressive than other European countries in terms of animal protection. The Lisbon Treaty, for example, which has not yet been ratified by most EU Member States, allows for practices that respect cultural and traditional views. This means that bullfighting and other cruel animal practices are condoned. Animals Count wants this article to be amended. There can be no exceptions for animal cruelty as “entertainment” in small pockets of the EC because “it has always been this way.”

During the coming months Animals Count will be preparing for the EP elections. The Dutch political Party for the Animals is very likely to win one or two seats in the European Parliament. We hope to achieve similar success so that we can work together in the EU to improve billions of animals’ lives, not only in the UK, but across Europe, and put an end to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) squandering half the EU budget subsidising cruel, unhealthy animal foods.

Read our letter (1.5MB) for more information and contact us if you want to help in any way. Thank you very much in advance for your support. Animals Count; they count on you!

7 November, 2008