Senedd election puts the Welsh Government back in prime position to deliver on pledges for animals
Wales went to the polls on 6 May 2021 in Senedd elections that saw 16 and 17-year-olds voting for the first time. Some recently-formed political parties also contested seats for the first time, adding to the choice facing the electorate. It also saw our fantastic supporters send out more than 16,000 emails to Senedd candidates in the run up to the election seeking commitments to improve animal welfare.
Our hope is that this Senedd will provide greater protections for all animals including those who suffer in the name of ‘sport’. We look forward to working with returning and new Senedd members on snaring, caged breeding and other animal welfare issues.
On to the results:
Labour were re-elected to Government in the Senedd elections, winning 30 of the 60 seats available and matching their best ever result. The League hopes this will mean that Welsh Government will continue to be bold and will develop Wales-specific animal protections which make the most of its devolved powers. It is now up to the Welsh Labour Government to stick to their manifesto pledges to end snaring and the caged breeding of farmed animals in Wales.
Elsewhere, The Conservatives had their best Senedd campaign ever with 16 seats, including winning Vale of Clwyd from Labour. Plaid Cymru were in third place with 13 seats. The Liberal Democrats lost their sole constituency seat but their Wales party leader, Jane Dodds, gained a regional seat, keeping their total number of MSs at just one. UKIP lost the seats they previously held. The Green Party, despite having some of the strongest pledges on animal protection, failed to win any seats.
Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, was re-elected with an increased majority. Lesley Griffiths, Environment Minister until the election, was re-elected for Wrexham and now has the new ministerial responsibilities of Rural Affairs, North Wales and Trefnydd. This gives continuity which the League welcomes and we are looking forward to working with Ms Griffiths to ensure the delivery of the election pledges to ban snares and restrict the use of cages for farmed animals.
A newly elected MS, Cefin Campbell, takes over the Rural Affairs brief for Plaid Cymru and re-elected MS Janet Finch-Saunders takes over the Shadow Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs role for the Conservatives. We were encouraged by support from candidates across all major parties on animal welfare and look forward to working to build consensus across the political spectrum for a comprehensive ban on snares and on the caged breeding of ‘game’ birds.
The League, and our many supporters, engaged with Senedd candidates on a mammoth scale in the run up to the election, seeking commitments on banning snaring and the caged breeding of ‘game’ birds. The response from candidates was overwhelmingly positive, many of whom individually went further than their party manifestos. This was a very valuable exercise as it allowed us to explain our policy asks and to secure a number of pledges from individual candidates. We look forward to working with MSs and League supporters from across the political spectrum to make these pledges a reality.
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