No Protection without Democratic Representation

Speaker: Dan Lyons, Chief Executive Officer Centre for Animals and Social Justice
Time: Saturday, 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Room: H3010

Although Britain has a reputation for being a nation of animal lovers, this is not reflected in the country’s actual welfare standards. This is because animal welfare and related public opinion lack any institutionalised representation within government. In these circumstances, the sacrifice of animal welfare and related public concern for narrow commercial interests becomes almost inevitable. The British animal protection movement’s lack of impact is partly due to a failure to address these structural obstacles and a flawed focus on human behaviour and other micro-level analysis. Structural changes – such as embedding animal protection as an institutionalised goal of the British state and democratising animal protection public policy to overcome the current domination of commercial interests – are essential if animal welfare standards are to be raised significantly. While this analysis is focussed on the British case, the concepts are transferable to other countries and international institutions.