Hen in a field © RSPCA

Help us change the lives of billions of farm animals

Thank you to the 4,463 people who took part in Defra’s consultation on the future of farming.

Update 11 October: our response to the Second Reading of the Agriculture Bill on 10 October 2018

It’s very exciting that animal welfare pilot programmes can start in 2020; we have already provided Defra with fifty examples which we believe would fit within the new Bill.

The Second Reading has resulted in very positive outcomes, which include:

  • our amendment asking for a duty to be put on ministers to support animal welfare was broadly supported by speakers
  • endorsement for our call that subsidies are specifically given to support animal welfare, helping the farmers who commit to higher welfare
  • and with trade deals, a ban on goods imported into the UK produced to lower welfare standards.

We really welcome the outcomes, as this will help protect our farm animals, farmers and consumers.

The new Agriculture Bill is definitely moving in the right direction. We’re looking forward to the Committee Stage, where these important issues relating to animal welfare post-Brexit can be explored in more depth.

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. Whilst progress has been made, farm animals continue to suffer because of unsuitable farming practices, but now we’ve been given a chance to make a big change. 

The upcoming Agriculture Bill gives us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the future for millions of farm animals, as the UK Government aims to set new agricultural policies in England.

What the Agricultural Bill can do for farm animal welfare

The Agricultural Bill is the future for food, farming and the environment, and will set agricultural policy in England. 

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

What we want to see in the Agricultural Bill: 

  • 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 – public money not used to support farmers who are just meeting minimum requirements
  • Farming practices that support wildlife and protect their natural habitats
  • Method of production and slaughter labelling on all animal products
  • Free trade agreements that will ensure we won’t import products farmed to lower welfare standards

A critical chance to change animal welfare

The public consultation on the Agricultural Bill gave us an opportunity to help shape the future of farming and put animal welfare at the heart of new legislation. The policies set out in this Bill could be the key turning point for the welfare of farm animals and we want you to help us make this a reality. 

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)
  • and ensure that all animal products are labelled so shoppers can identify farming system and method slaughter.

Join our campaign network

To ensure you're kept up to date about the consultation outcome and other important campaign actions, please join our campaign network to give animals a voice.

Share this...