At the end of April, I went to Lyon to meet Nathalie Dehan, one of the co-founders and current co-leader of the very new Animal Rights French party, launched in November 2016.
The animal issue becomes more and more a topic of interest in French current affairs thanks to the videos released by animal rights associations such as L214. According to the last Euro barometer in 2016, 88% of French people say they are interested in animal protection. That is why I asked Nathalie Dehan to talk about the Animal Rights Party, its program and its strategy.
The Animal Rights Party didn’t propose any candidate for the presidential election. However, there will be more than 100 candidates for the parliamentary elections. It’s an opportunity for all French people who care about animal protection to give their voice to the voiceless.
Click on the picture to see the video recording. The recording is in French with English subtitles.
The full script is available after the recording.
The Animal Rights party is a monothematic political party, focused on animal rights.
The extraordinary work of the French associations often comes up against indifference and even hostility from the current political decision-makers, so it was necessary to move on to a political level.
The Animal Rights party has no connection with any French political party. It is completely autonomous, and financially and politically independent of any formation and any French political party.
It quickly integrated an international movement initiated by the Dutch Animal party born 10 years ago and we have been able to meet our colleagues from Australia who include a senator, from Portugal who include a Member of Parliament and our Dutch colleagues who include 53 elected representatives including one Member of the European Parliament.
The Animal Rights party gives no instructions or advice on how to vote in the first or second presidential election round. People who want more animal protection today in France can look at the website Political Animal or Animals and Politics to get an idea, their own ideas. We only position ourselves where we present candidates.
The Animal Rights party hopes to present up to 100 or even more candidates for the legislative elections.
We are often criticised by people who find that we do too much or too little. I want to tell them “read our project, is it not concrete? Had it already been applied in France, the abolition of the worst practices on animals, would it not have been a step forward?
The Animal Rights party will not disappear after the legislative election whatever the results. We are here to last, unfortunately I was going to say, since animal protection in France is not advancing. So we are there to permanently be in the political landscape, to make the animal issue a political matter. Whatever the result of the legislative elections, the Animal Rights will continue to present candidates to the European election for example.
It will be complicated in the first elections for the Animal Rights party to have elected representatives with the current French electoral system but it is a question of settling permanently in the political landscape.
We have about ten flagship measures in our program, the animal rights program.
If I were to choose just three of them it would be the creation of a ministry for the protection of animals that will be independent and autonomous, not bound, not subject to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The second one would be the abolition of the worst practices in livestock farming like for example the slaughter without stunning, the castration of piglets without anaesthesia, things like that and then there is also the abolition of the worst practices such as bullfighting, glue hunting, fox hunting and cockfighting.
And then things related to pets such as sterilising stray animals, and facilitating pets admission into shelters.
Everyone can help in some way. Individuals can register themselves on the site as a volunteer, become a candidate for the Animal Rights party, give, support, also broadcast our posts. We post almost every day on Facebook, on Twitter, we publish regularly on our YouTube channel so you can like it, re-tweet, pass on, spread, broadcast our videos on other social networks.
Donations are needed to fund the nomination of candidates. What is interesting with the Animal Rights party, which is one of the tools to promote animal protection today in France, what is interesting, is that it is monothematic, focused on the animal issue. So when we vote for this political party we vote unambiguously for animals. This issue is not drowned in other themes.
Animals count, your voice does too.