A NEW animal-friendly party fighting in the European elections for the first time is to launch its manifesto from the Epping Forest District.

Animals Count has chosen the Kings Oak, in Forest Road, Loughton as the launchpad for its election push and party president, and vet Andrew Knight will host a free dog consultation and animal health care advice session there this Sunday, (May 24) from 12pm to 3pm.

The party campaigns for greater ethical understanding of animals and a better pet health care system.

Leader Jasmijn de Boo said: “We wanted to launch in a nice outdoor area because Animals Count supports animals and the environment. Some of the other parties campaign in big halls, and we wanted to be closer to people and their issues. It’s a particularly pretty place.

“We want people to become more aware we are fighting the election and we have animal and people friendly policies. We have worked in Essex before and come across people who can’t afford vet fees. There are a lot of people there who agree with our campaign issues.”

Fourteen different parties and one independent candidate will be contesting the European elections in East Anglia on June 4.