Help us change the lives of billions of farm animals

As the UK Government sets new agriculture policies for England, we're calling on the Government to make sure that farm animal welfare is at the heart of their Agriculture Bill.

Agriculture Bill voted on in Westminster

Thank you to more than 20,000 supporters who have taken action calling for stronger protections for farm animals in the Agriculture Bill.

On Wednesday 13 May 2020, the Bill was put before MPs for the final time before entering the House of Lords for further scrutiny. We welcome that the Bill recognises animal welfare as a public good and that there will be financial incentives for those farmers who provide higher welfare standards.

However, we're disappointed that the Bill in its current format fails to prevent products being imported that could be from animals farmed to lower standards than our own.

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What the Agriculture Bill can do for farm animal welfare

The Agriculture Bill is the future for food, farming and the environment. It will set agricultural policy in England and, temporarily, empower Welsh Ministers to incentivise higher farm welfare in Wales.

Eight out of ten people support government subsidies being used to improve animals welfare © RSPCA

What we want for the future of farming:

  • Animal welfare considered as an important factor when developing future farming policies
  • Farming subsidies to incentivise and support farmers improving the welfare of their farm animals - with public money not used to support farmers who are just meeting minimum requirements
  • A clear commitment in the Bill to post-Brexit free trade agreements that ensure we won't import products farmed to lower welfare standards
  • Farming practices that support wildlife and protect their natural habitats
  • Method of production and slaughter labelling on all animal products

Why we need a change

64 percent of people believe animal welfare is important when choosing which meat to buy © RSPCA

Farm animals are sentient beings, they can feel pleasure and pain, and we have a responsibility to safeguard their welfare. While progress has been made, there are still improvements we can make to achieve the highest welfare standards for farm animals.

As the UK leaves the EU, the Agriculture Bill is providing a once in a generation opportunity to radically transform the way farming works and the welfare standards of products that we eat.

A critical chance to change animal welfare

The Agriculture Bill is an opportunity to bring about change © RSPCA

The policies set out in the Agriculture Bill could mean we move closer to the end of: 

  • keeping hens in enriched battery cages
  • confining pregnant and nursing pigs in farrowing crates
  • farming ducks without full body access to water
  • dairy cows suffering from lameness and mastitis (an infection of the udders)

It can also ensure that all animal products are labelled, so shoppers can identify farming systems and method of slaughter.

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