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[photo: Tony Banks]Rare breeds (1). The Ethical Politician
"If animals had votes, I would be Prime Minister by now."
Tony Banks MP
IVU News - Issue 1-96

But other species don't have votes, so their interests are largely ignored and Tony remains on the back benches of the British Parliament, where his is often the only voice to be heard speaking up for the animals. He speaks out against cruelty and injustice wherever he finds it - whether to humans or to other species - and has had much to say both in Westminster and at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg about the horrors of animal transportation, hunting, habitat destruction and other forms of exploitation.

A committed vegetarian, Tony recently introduced legislation to promote vegetarianism in the United Kingdom. The measure was accepted by Parliament for consideration, but failed to complete all necessary stages due to lack of parliamentary time.

No creature is too small or insignificant for his attention: a recent concern has been the plight of the pigeons in Trafalgar Square - as famous and well loved as the doves of St. Mark's in Venice, but currently under threat from people keen to clear the square to make way for money-making ventures. A "cull" is supposed to be merely "under consideration", but numbers in the area are diminishing rapidly and there are fears that the birds are being poisoned surreptitiously.

To register your protest at the threat to these harmless and beautiful birds, write to The Secretary of State for National Heritage, 2 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH, UK. Fax: (44) 171 211 6032. Or contact: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, 22 Stephenson Way, London NW1, UK. Fax: (44) 171 388 4925, who are co-ordinating a petition.

Letters from abroad are especially welcome as the birds are one of London's best known tourist attractions.

[In May 1997 Tony Banks became Minister for Sport]


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