Protect the UK's farm animal welfare standards

Fear the UK Government will sell out our animal welfare standards in future trade deals

The UK Government has a manifesto commitment not to do deals in trade agreements that undermine our animal welfare standards. Under the Trade Act, the Secretary of State has to report on how it will impact existing trade deals on our standards. However crucially this doesn't apply to future trade deals such as with Australia or the USA. The win we got that the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) will report on future trade deals is good but the Government has stalled in setting up this independent Commission.

Australian lower standards deal close to an agreement

UK vs Australia animal welfare standards © RSPCAThe UK is in the final phase of agreeing on a trade deal with Australia, many of their standards are well below UK farm standards in areas such as:

  • Chlorine-washed chicken
  • Hormone-treated beef
  • Allowing laying hens in battery cages

All of which have been illegal in the UK over the past decade.

We risk exporting our farm standards and farmers if we allow in such products.

Don't let the UK Government betray animals

We need to act now to make sure the UK Government doesn't break its promises to animals, and to 83% of the public. Just days ago, it vowed to be a global leader in animal welfare. We're facing an imminent trade deal with Australia, and a quick deal could open the floodgates for cruel animal welfare standards.

What we want now to improve farm animal welfare

There are still ways to protect our farm animal welfare standards, which we'll continue to campaign on. As part of the Agriculture Act, 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
  • Ensure we don't reduce tariffs in trade deals unless the products are produced to the same standards as in the UK

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What we've achieved so far

Beef cattleOver 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 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.
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