Topic

politics

200 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Hertfordshire County Council

Reconsider the decision to build a new Harpenden School on the Site East of Common Lane

We the undersigned, as residents of the Harpenden School Planning Area, petition Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), in conjunction with Education Funding Agency (EFA), to rerun the site evaluation and selection process, including scoring that led to the Site East of Common Lane (Site F) being chosen as a potential new school site, before any further work is carried out on the Harpenden School project due to significant changes in the factors considered in the previous exercise. In the original scoring used to justify site selection no account was taken of the following (in no particular order):   1) Site F's owners ambitions to develop part of the site for housing, and the consequent effects on school building;  2) The ambition of Central Beds to develop housing on the Harpenden Northern border. 3) The rising levels of traffic caused by housing development on the Lower Luton Rd and North Harpenden and the continuing expansion of Luton Airport.   4) Two separate Archaeological investigations by the University of Bristol on only one corner of the site using Magnetometry and Ground Penetrating Radar have revealed a significant variety of constructions on the site which merit a thorough investigation of the entire site, 5) The original decision (as stated in minutes of HCC Cabinet meeting 23 September 2013) was based on a permanent increase in demand of 5 Forms of Entry over current school place provision, while the latest HCC forecasts, produced just 3 years later, show a fall to a demand for 0 Forms of Entry by the end of the forecast period, i.e. no shortfall. We believe this evidence that was not available at the time the search and evaluation processes were undertaken and has a material bearing on the nature and location of an appropriate site for needs of the area. As this evidence was not available at the time the search and evaluation processes were undertaken and has a material bearing on the nature and potential location of an appropriate site for the needs of the area. Any one of the above is enough to mean the circumstances for releasing this site from green belt cannot be justified.

John Hansen
970 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Grant pets rights as living beings

We call upon the UK Government to give a new legal status and 'Grant pets rights as living beings'. A change in animals status from “personal property” to that of a “sentient being" will bring the civil law into line with the penal code, which sets tough penalties for cruelty to animals. This should make it easier to prosecute cases of animal cruelty.  Britain could claim to be something of a world leader in animal welfare, but as a nation, however, we have failed in bringing progressive positive change to improve the welfare of animals. While countries all over the world have updated or enacted effective animal cruelty legislation, England remains behind. European animal welfare legislation is based on the recognition that all animals, from pets to farm animals, are sentient beings – i.e. they have powers of perception and feeling. A legally binding protocol attached to the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam recognised animals as "sentient beings" and this recognition was strengthened in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 which included animal sentience as an Article in the main body of the Treaty.  Some countries have already (even before the treaty) transformed animals from things to non-things, such as Austria (ABGB 1998, Constitution 2004), Germany (BGB 1990, Constitution 2002), Switzerland (BGB 2000, Constitution 2004), and most recently France (2014). Scientific research is constantly revealing new evidence of animals’ intelligence and emotions. There is also increasing evidence that many animals can learn new skills and some appear to show emotions similar to human empathy. Animals are capable of feeling pain and experiencing distress,they can also be reduced to a state resembling human depression by chronic stress or confinement in a cage. This new understanding of the sentience of animals has huge implications for the way we treat them and the policies and laws we need to adopt.   Voice-Sensitive Regions in the Dog and Human Brain Are Revealed by Comparative fMRI. Highlights • This is the first comparative neuroimaging study of a nonprimate species and humans • Functional analogies were found between dog and human nonprimary auditory cortex • Voice areas preferring conspecific vocalizations were evidenced in the dog brain • Brain sensitivity to vocal cues of emotional valence was found in both species We demonstrate that voice areas exist in dogs and that they show a similar pattern to anterior temporal voice areas in humans. Our findings also reveal that sensitivity to vocal emotional valence cues engages similarly located nonprimary auditory regions in dogs and humans.    Neuroscientist Gregory Berns  What fMRI Can Tell Us About the Thoughts and Minds of Dogs One neuroscientist is peering into the canine brain, and says he's found evidence that dogs may feel love. As Berns’ team begins to scratch the surface of the canine brain, they’re finding something surprising—in several ways, its activity mirrors that of the human brain to a much greater extent than expected. We cannot ignore the striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus. As part of their first paper published on the work in 2012, they trained dogs to recognize two different hand signals: one that meant the animal would be given a piece of hot dog imminently, and one that meant no hot dog. As they hypothesized, the first signal triggered elevated activity in an area called the caudate nucleus, which is rich in receptors for dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in the sensation of pleasure). In humans—and in dogs, the research indicated—caudate activity is related to the desire to have something that causes pleasure, and the satisfaction involved in obtaining it. Subsequent work revealed more unexpected findings. As part of a second experiment, they had dogs sit in the scanner and exposed them to smells of humans (from either their owners or strangers) and other dogs (from either dogs they lived with or unfamiliar dogs). “We wanted to understand how dogs recognize other people and dogs in their households,” Berns says. Again, they saw increased activity in the caudate, but only as a result of one of the scents. “In this case, the reward system only seems to activate in response to the smell of a familiar human, which is pretty amazing,” he says. To further probe how the dogs’ brain activity correlates with the actions of humans they know well, they put the dogs in the fMRI and had their owners leave the room, then walk back in. This, too, triggered activation in the caudate. Berns interprets these results as indications that, in some ways, the mental processes of dogs may not be so different from those of humans. They’re close enough, he suggests, that we can safely describe them with words we don’t often apply to animals: the mental activity represents emotions, and perhaps even constitute love. “At some fundamental level, we believe the dogs are experiencing emotions something like we do,” Berns says. The research suggests that the human brain and canine brain aren’t as radically different as we might have imagined.   Why Support Change As society changes and evolves, so too do the views and values of its people. A challenge of law-makers is to identify shifts in values and expectations, so that they can pass new laws and amend existing laws. Changing social values are the fundamental ideas we have about other people and society in general. They include ideas about race, gender, families, children, violence, personal responsibility and the law itself. Changing morality and ethics are concerned with what is right and wrong, though on a social level rather than what offends the individual. As previously mentioned, our laws on animal abuse have changed very little, but society has. True law reform occurs because society has changed and the law needs to change with it. No longer do we as a nation want to tolerate animal abuse. We want the laws changed and the penalties to be more severe and we want the Courts to take it more seriously. We need to make the changes. To lead it, and to mould it to fit with the changing views and values of our society. These are views shared by a very large proportion of the electorate and should be acknowledged.  

The German Shepherd Helpline
5,298 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Parliament Of India, President of India, Ban Ki-moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations), President of the United States, Rt Hon David Cameron MP

The Kashmir Referendum For Freedom.

In 1947, at the time of India and Pakistan’s independence from Great Britain, Kashmir was free to accede to either country. The province was mostly Muslim but ruled by a Hindu king. Though he wanted to stay independent, he was convinced to join India. Since then, India and Pakistan have fought two wars (1947-48 and 1965) over the disputed territory. Both countries have been involved in major border skirmishes, including the most recent after a terrorist attack in New Delhi. Kashmir is divided by a Line of Control (LOC) established by the Simla Agreement in 1972 when both sides agreed to respect its course until a final negotiated solution could be found. Under the Simla Pact ceasefire, the line was changed into line of control. It does not say Kashmir dispute is solved or self-determination kept on hold. A further clause of Simla agreement says - That the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations shall govern the relations between India and Pakistan . This keeps UN resolutions on Kashmir live. India administers 2/3 of Kashmir as part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan controls the remaining 1/3, though China also has a small claim in the area. Pakistan’s position is that Kashmir should be part of Pakistan and, at the very least, there should be a plebiscite to decide the issue. India argues that the issue was decided in 1947. Alternatively, the 1972 Simla Agreement has decided the issue and the LOC should become an international border. In 1948, the United Nations Security Council decided that the issue of Kashmir’s future should be determined by a plebiscite. That resolution states that Pakistani forces must withdraw from the province and, upon the withdrawal, Kashmiris could decide whether to accede to India or Pakistan. UN Security Council resolutions are international law and, as this resolution has not been withdrawn, Kashmir’s future should be decided by its terms. Kashmir's right of self-determination and is intact ,genuine and legal in the eyes of international law. There is striking resemblance between UN Resolutions of 13 August 1948 and in Text of Mountbatten's conditional acceptance of doubtful instrument of Accession of Hari Singh. Resolution of 13th August 1948 said that the "future status of the state shall be determined in accordance with the will of the people. The letter of Mountbatten dated 26 October says - special circumstances mentioned by your Highness my Government have decided to accept the accession of Kashmir State to the Dominion of India. Consistently with their policy that in the case of any State where the issue of accession has been the subject of dispute, the question if accession should be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of the State. The autonomy provisions in India’s Constitution are a sham. India has refused to discuss any real autonomy, always citing renewed violence as its excuse for direct rule from Delhi. In June 2000, the state assembly adopted a call for pre-1953 status. Though Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee suggested such status was possible, he was opposed by members of his own party, the BJP. In addition to being Hindu fundamentalists (and thus critical of autonomy for India’s only Muslim-majority state), the BJP fears that autonomy in Kashmir will bring calls for a similar devolution in Punjab, Nagaland and Orissa. The more likely outcome is that Kashmir will become independent, if this option is available. In a recent poll, almost 75% of Kashmiris, including Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, favoured independence. There is no reason why Kashmir, like India before it, could not opt for secularism, thus protecting all three religions equally. It is for all these reasons, the Kashmir people deserve a referendum. The people of Kashmir have made it obvious that they want freedom. There have been daily protests resulting in the loss of many lives. In order to stop the bloodshed, a robust political solution is required. They should have the right to vote on their own independence and freedom.  The petition to the United Nations to investigate the Human Rights Violations in Kashmir has gained more than 8000+signatures. These people have supported a right to self determination.  This petition will be delivered through to the Indian Parliament via the public application procedure here.   #KASHEXIT #FREEKASHMIR #KASHMIR  Fatalities So FarJan. 1989 to March 31, 2016Total Killings 94,332Custodial Killings 7,043Civilians Arrested 133,387Structures Arsoned/Destroyed 106,063Women Widowed 22,810Children Orphaned 107,556Women gang-raped / Molested 10,176Enforced Disappearances 10,000 +  Contact Details on Facebook is here

Dr Rita Pal
10,542 supporters