I saw this post from Doing Westminster Better and wanted to blast it widely for people to take action today as it seems like a great opportunity, and a great ratio of effort to expected impact.

Defra — the UK’s department for the environment and, in some sense, the ministry that affects more lives than any other, as the body which regulates the farming of over a billion farmed animals in England — is currently considering the most impactful animal welfare regulation in years. This is your last day to tell the government that you care about animals and support this regulation.

Here’s what you need to know: the government is considering introduce animal welfare labeling. This would support consumers who still eat meat to make better informed choices about the animals they eat, whether that means helping you find the higher welfare product, or nudging you to recognise the suffering you’re enabling by buying low welfare meat.

Details continue in the linked post.

The call to action says it takes 30 minutes. Plausibly more MVP, copy-paste actions are also possible, but I don’t know whether copy-pasting answers into a government consultation helps. See comments for discussion of this question. I’m going to try and find time to do this tonight.

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I've just completed this and found it incredibly long-winded and technical. A lot of the questions were just for businesses really. But I persevered and I hope I have done some good for animal welfare. It's about time people's eyes were opened more through transparent labelling to the conditions of animals used to produce meat. For example, when they buy a chicken they need to know whether it has been debeaked. And when they buy pork, they should know whether it comes from castrated pigs or ones that have had their tails removed. Putting more information on labels means that people won't be able to sleepwalk through supermarkets anymore but will be forced to make moral decisions about what they eat. They won't be able to ignore it anymore.

To speed up the filling out, consider using the resources in this google doc :)

Yes; that Google doc is linked to as the call to action of the linked post :)

Do you need to be from or living in the UK?

No. It just has a question ‘Where are you based in the UK?’, with an option to say ‘not UK-based’ and specify where you are.

Grayden comments:

I think generally they are looking for issues to consider rather than doing a straw poll of public opinion, hence quality over quantity

I can confirm that copying and pasting doesn't move the needle, at least in consultations I've been involved with - they will put weight on people actually engaging with the ideas (Similarly feel free to skip or provide very short answers to questions you don't care much about and focus on the ones who care most about)

For context, Kirsten has long worked for UK government departments.

That's interesting! I was thinking there was a chance it did, because in a write-up about a similar public consultation on live animal transport, Defra used a lot of "X% of people thought Y" framings in their analysis (more details). It depends whether they count duplicated responses when they do this. 

Yes that's true, if they use statistics like this, similar or duplocated responses might count

That's interesting! 

As a follow-up, in consultations you've been involved with, did they put weight on the thoughts on random members of the public, assuming the thoughts were sensible ofc?

There weren't many, so I don't know unfortunately. In this consultation you'd have a better chance because it's about a public-facing issue

Yeah, that's what I hoped. I couldn't honestly say that I would care about these labels (cos I don't eat animal products anyway), but I said stuff like 'consumers would like to know this', which I think is true.

Many of the questions ask you to pick among 'Strongly disagree' through 'Strongly agree' and most questions are optional. For those likert/select-an-option questions, I guess the survey analysers would do more aggregation among survey-takers, so quantity would matter there.

That would make sense! I think the civil servant in charge might also have a certain level of discretion with regards to how they represent the results - I did in my case.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that more responses mean nothing, just that bringing up a sensible consideration is more likely to affect outcomes than copying and pasting a response (which may have between no weight and a little weight with the policymakers)

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