Almost half of Brits more likely to support a Parliamentary Candidate if they're an animal lover, new survey finds

28 Jun 2024

A new survey has found that a commitment to animal welfare can play a key role in influencing whether a parliamentary candidate or party leader will be supported by a member of the public.

The survey of 2,041 UK adults, from leading animal welfare charity, Battersea, and research platform Focaldata, found that 44 per cent of people reported knowing an MP or their party leader is committed to animal welfare would make them more likely to support this candidate, with almost as many (39 per cent) also stating that a political party’s animal welfare policies or promises would influence who they voted for. This sentiment was particularly strong with 18 to 24-year-olds (57 per cent), many of whom will be eligible to vote in a general election for the first time.

Despite clear support from the public for animal welfare to be included on the political agenda, there have been many missed opportunities for Parliament to improve animal welfare in the UK. In recent years less than a third of proposed legislation relating to dog and cat welfare was ultimately passed in to law.

The lives of animals, like Fudge, will continue to be at risk unless animal welfare is prioritised by the incoming Government. The young dog arrived at Battersea’s London centre earlier this year with ears that had been cruelly mutilated before she was imported to the UK where the barbaric procedure is illegal. Animal charities have long campaigned for Parliament to act to close this loophole on the painful procedure known as ‘ear cropping’, but after many delays, two Bills addressing the issue failed to pass into law.

Countless pets are also given up by loving owners because there aren’t enough pet friendly properties available to rent. Clauses within the high-profile Renters Reform Bill would have addressed this imbalance, preventing pets and their owners from being parted, but this Bill too failed to pass.

Michael Webb, Battersea’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs, said; “Here at Battersea we have spent decades using our voice for dogs and cats, campaigning for positive changes to the law that would better protect animals across the UK. For every hard-fought success we’ve had, such as significantly increasing sentences for animal cruelty, there have been many more Bills that have failed to cross the finish line.

“We know that the public are incredibly supportive of more being done to improve animal welfare in the UK and are encouraging them to ask several key questions to people seeking their vote. We also urge all parliamentary candidates to speak with their communities about this important issue ahead of the election.”

To find out more about the animal welfare issues Battersea believes the next Government should tackle visit


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Notes to editors  

  • At Battersea we offer our love and expert care to dogs and cats who need us by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals at our centres, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with rescue organisations around the world. We do this because we want to help every dog and cat, everywhere.  
  • In 2023 Battersea directly cared for 2,529 dogs and 2,450 cats at our three centres. We also helped thousands more through campaigning work, supporting other rescues and animal welfare advocates, and sharing knowledge and advice with pet owners. 
  • Battersea has three centres based in London; Old Windsor, Berkshire; and Brands Hatch, Kent. 
  • To find out more visit our website or follow Battersea on X @battersea_, Instagram @battersea or