Protect the UK's farm animal welfare standards
Vital u-turn strengthens our position on animal welfare standards
The UK Government has reversed its position on two issues in response to our campaigning and the House of Lords amendments.
- It will now be mandatory for the Secretary of State to report on the impact of future trade deals on animal welfare before they can be agreed.
- The Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) has been extended for three years and will be a requirement for all future trade deals. They will produce a report on each future trade agreement. These new changes meet our tests to turn the TAC from a Trojan horse into a meaningful body.
Although this can't guarantee a stop on potential issues like lower welfare imports, it can be used to influence decisions such as stopping chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-treated beef. Having these measures in place puts us in a stronger position for future trade agreements by having a defining body to represent animal welfare.
There are still opportunities for the Ag Bill to improve farm animal welfare
With the completion of the Ag Bill there are still ways to protect our farm animal welfare standards, which we'll continue to campaign on. As part of the Agriculture Bill, we now need the UK Government to:
- Introduce mandatory labelling on animal products so people can make informed decisions about their food
- Make sure our new tariff system makes it unviable to import lower welfare products
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What we've achieved so far
Over the past few years of campaigning, together, we've achieved fundamental change for animals with the Agriculture Bill, including:
- Farming subsidies will be given to incentivise and support farmers to improve the welfare of their farm animals - with public money not used to support farmers who are just meeting minimum requirements
- Extending the life of the Trade and Agriculture Commission and ensuring Parliament receives theirs and the Government report on how a trade agreement will impact on animal welfare standards before final approval
- Farming practices will support wildlife and protect their natural habitats
- Taking a big step forwards on labelling, with a consultation on the method of production labelling likely to be published before the end of the year.