From 19 to 21 November 2015, participants from fifteen countries gathered in Tirana, Albania for the annual Animal Politics Meeting. They are part of a growing international movement of groups and parties dedicated to the interests of animal, nature and environment in politics.
In addition to the Dutch Party for the Animals, the German Tierschutzpartei, the Australian Animal Justice Party and the Portuguese PAN now all have their representatives. There were animal welfare parties from Cyprus, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, and parties in formation from Finland and Israel. Albanian and Serbian animal protectionists also participated in the meeting.
Gaining inspiration and the transfer and exchange of knowledge have been key ingredients. Representatives of the Portuguese PAN, for example, shared their social media strategy. PAN was the largest political party in Portugal on Facebook in the national election campaign on 4 October this year. As a result of these elections, André Silva of PAN was elected Member of Parliament.
A local Albanian politician committed to the fate of stray dogs joined a local animal protectionist in a speech about how the issue of stray animals is addressed in their country. In Albania, killing stray animals may be prohibited by law, but the execution of this law still leaves much to be desired. The parties also discussed the fight against cross-border injustices such as international animal transport and the trade of kangaroo meat.
The conference was organised by the Animal Politics Foundation, the foundation responsible for the Party for the Animals’ international activities.