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Make Me a Promise Campaign

What are we campaigning for?

We are campaigning to end the way in which animals are treated as objects rather than sentient beings. Having seen how people can willingly hand over their pets to someone else without so much as a blink, we therefore worry about where a lot of these animals end up. We aim to spread the word that taking on a pet means taking on the responsibility for a life. They are not disposable like a toy, so it is not a decision to be made on a whim.

Animals create strong bonds with their owners and people often don’t realise how much their pets can love them. Animals experience some of the same emotions we humans do – they are sentient beings – so it’s important to treat them with respect. They provide you with love, loyalty and affection in return for your protection, yet are often left mourning, feeling confused and sad, when their owner suddenly disappears.

We are campaigning to make people think twice before taking on a pet and to research the animal thoroughly before taking on such a commitment. Whatever the species, animals need love and attention for the rest of their lives and can live a long time. Getting a pet should not be an impulse decision and we hope to stop pet shops and breeders from allowing this. It is currently so easy to walk into your local pet shop looking for cat food and to come out with a new pet rabbit without having thought it through. We want this to stop. Animals DO NOT deserve this.  

What does Brexit mean for animal welfare?

Currently, 80% of animal welfare legislation comes from the EU law and this includes over 40 animal welfare laws. An EU law known as the Lisbon Treaty recognises animals as sentient beings, meaning they are understood as having the capacity to feel pain and suffering. The is a binding agreement between all countries which are members of the EU. Since the Lisbon Treaty, animal welfare has taken a huge turn for the better. For example, barren battery cages can no longer be used and animal testing for cosmetics was ended.

However, as Brexit takes place and the UK leave the EU, these laws will no longer apply. Does this therefore mean animal welfare in the UK will take a step backwards? Laws impacting on animals must take into account an animal’s ability to suffer so it is now even more important to push to ensure animals continue to be seen as sentient beings in the law. Without this, animals will be allowed to live in pain and suffering due to their lack of recognition as sentient beings.


How will "Make Me A Promise" help?

We want to ensure all potential pet owners thoroughly think through the implications and commitment that comes with have a pet. Instead of making an impulse decision when walking through a pet shop which then may then regret, we want decisions to be carefully thought through. So, before taking on an animal, please ask yourself:

  • Can you afford it?

  • It is for YOU or your children?

  • What happens when you go on holiday?

  • Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

  • Do you have the right environment?

  • Do you have enough time?

  • Have you researched the species?

When you take on a pet, you are making them a promise. You are promising to provide them with care and protection for the rest of their lives. This includes ensuring their five welfare needs are met:

  • Health (protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease and treatment for if they become ill or injured)

  • Behaviour (allowing your pet to behave naturally for their species e.g. play, run, dig, jump, etc.)

  • Companionship (to be housed with, or apart from, other animals as appropriate for the species)

  • Diet (a suitable diet and prevention of obesity or malnourishment, as well as access to clean, fresh water)

  • Environment (a suitable environment for the species).

If you still think getting a pet is the right thing for you, the next step is to decide where to go to get your new pet. Is it better to support the trade of pet shops and backyard breeders with no morals or care for where the animals end up? Or is it better to give an animal a second chance and visit your local rescue centre? If they can’t help you or you are after something specific, perhaps taking the time to research ethical, experienced, knowledgeable breeders would be beneficial? This will always be your choice, but your choice could be making a huge difference.

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