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Animal Welfare Party (AWP) is a minor political party in the United Kingdom campaigning on an animal welfare, environment and health platform.[2]

Animal Welfare Party
LeaderVanessa Hudson[1]
Nominating OfficerJon Homan[1]
TreasurerLouise Cobham QV[1]
Veterinary AdvisorAndre Menache BSc (Hons) BVSc MRCVS[1]
Founded2 December 2006 (2006-12-02)
HeadquartersPostal address: Animal Welfare Party, 71 -75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9JQ
IdeologyAnimal welfare
European affiliationAnimal Politics EU



The party was founded in December 2006 by Jasmijn de Boo, a Dutch national, of Kennington, London, and Shaun Rutherford of Milford Haven, Wales, as Animals Count!.[3] The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on 22 January 2007.[4]

Vanessa Hudson (2010)

In October 2010, the party elected a new leader, Vanessa Hudson, whose aims are to increase awareness of the party and to expand its membership. In 2013, the party changed its name from Animals Count! to the Animal Welfare Party.[5]

In June 2013, Hudson joined leaders from other animal protection parties from across Europe in a meeting in The Hague organised by the Animal Politics Foundation of the Netherlands.[6] At this meeting the animal protection parties of the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Turkey and the UK discussed ways in which they could work together more effectively. Later that month, Hudson announced that the Animal Welfare Party would stand in the London region in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

The party says it was one of seven European animal protection parties contesting the 2014 European Parliament elections with the aim of returning dedicated representatives for animals to the EU Parliament for the first time.[7] This European group of parties has become known informally as the EuroAnimal7 and includes PvdD of The Netherlands, PACMA of Spain, PAN of Portugal, Partei Mensch Umwelt Tierschutz of Germany, Djurens Parti of Sweden and Animal Party Cyprus.

In September 2017, the party gained its first elected representative after Alsager Town Councillor Jane Smith defected from the Green Party to the AWP.[8]


AWP's policies for Europe include:[2]

  • Re-directing EU subsidies (currently averaging 50 billion euros per year) away from livestock and fisheries farming and into plant-based agriculture
  • Promoting plant-based lifestyle initiatives through public health and education campaigns
  • Opposing the production and import of genetically manipulated crops anywhere in Europe
  • Labelling all products clearly with information which allows consumers to make informed choices in line with their own principles on the environment, health, animal welfare and the social circumstances in which a product is produced
  • Phasing out farming practices and systems with poor welfare consequences for animals
  • Ending live animal export
  • Reducing journey times for animals travelling to slaughter and further 'fattening'
  • Phasing out animal experimentation with binding targets for reduction combined with funding and real support for alternatives
  • Ending cultural traditions that involve cruelty to animals, such as bullfighting and foie gras production
  • A ban on the production and sale of fur within Europe
  • Ending EU subsidy of rearing bulls for bullfighting (currently estimated to be 129.6 million euros per year)
  • Halting EU funding of Romania's 'Rabies Eradication Programme' until the stray animal 'Catch and Kill' policy is replaced by 'Spay and Neuter'
  • Ensuring proper enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation across all EU member states

Electoral historyEdit

The party initially intended to stand in the Welsh Assembly elections in 2007.[9] In the 2008 London Assembly election, de Boo stood in Lambeth and Southwark,[10] receiving 1,828 votes (1.12%).[11] The party sponsored an electoral list of three candidates for the 2009 European Parliament election in the East of England,[12] receiving 13,201 votes (0.8%).[13]

In the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the party contested one seat, which it did not win. The party sponsored an electoral list of eight candidates for the 2014 European Parliament election in the London region, receiving 21,092 votes (0.96%). None were elected. Four AWP candidates contested the 2015 general election. None were elected. They stood in the 2016 London Assembly elections, receiving 1% of the vote and not having any candidates elected.

Elections contestedEdit

Parliamentary electionsEdit

General election, 6 May 2010
Note: Standing as "Animals Count"

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Islington South and Finsbury Richard Deboo 149 0.3[14]

General election, 7 May 2015

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Jon Homan 225 0.5[15]
Holborn & St Pancras Vanessa Hudson 173 0.3[16]
Kensington Andrew Knight 158 0.5[17]
Putney Guy Dessoy 184 0.4[18]

Scottish Parliament election, 5 May 2016

Region Votes %
Glasgow 1,819 0.1[19]

European Parliament electionsEdit

2009 European electionsEdit

Note: Standing as "Animals Count"

Regional lists Candidates Votes % MEPs
East of England 13,201 0.8 0[20]

2014 European electionsEdit

Regional lists Candidates Votes % MEPs
London 21,092 1.0 0[21]

European Parliament election, 2019Edit

Regional lists Candidates Votes % MEPs
London Vanessa Hudson, Jane Smith, Sam Morland, Ranjan Joshi, Mina Da Rui, Jonathan Homan, Simon Gouldman 25,232 1.1 0[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Animal Welfare Party website: Committee of National Officers
  2. ^ a b Animal Welfare Party website: Vision
  3. ^ "Activists welcome animal rights party", BBC News, 3 December 2006
  4. ^ Electoral Commission: Animal Welfare Party registration (Reference PP616l)
  5. ^ Animal Welfare Party website: About
  6. ^ Partij voor de Dieren, Worldlog week 24 – 2013 Archived April 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Animal Welfare Party website: 2014 EU Elections
  8. ^ "Animal Welfare Party Gains First UK Political Representation After Jane Smith Defects From Green Party". 4 September 2017.
  9. ^ "New animal rights party launched". BBC News. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  10. ^ "London elections 2008: More candidates". Southwark News. 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  11. ^ "London Elections: Lambeth & Southwark". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Party promises voice for animals". BBC News. 2 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  13. ^ "European Election 2009: East of England". BBC News. 7 June 2009. Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  14. ^ Election 2010 - Islington South & Finsbury, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  15. ^ Election 2015 - Ealing Southall, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  16. ^ Election 2015 - Holborn & St Pancras, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  17. ^ Election 2010 - Kensington, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  18. ^ Election 2015 - Putney, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  19. ^ Election 2016 - Glasgow, Wikipedia. Accessed 2 June 2016.
  20. ^ European Election 2009: East of England, BBC News Accessed 12 May 2015.
  21. ^ Vote 2014 - London, BBC News Accessed 12 May 2015.
  22. ^

External linksEdit