The Trade and Agriculture Commission, set up in response to public and industry concerns over food standards, released a report in March detailing new guidelines for agricultural trade post-Brexit. The guidelines call for liberalised trade in food and agriculture with other countries, balanced out by a commitment to “international leadership by the UK on climate, environment, animal welfare and ethical trade”. But what does this mean for the animals?
The Commission’s report outlines a set of Government recommendations that indicate an encouraging level of respect for animal welfare in trade. As the UK negotiates Free Trade Deals with other countries, we must ensure animal welfare standards are protected and enhanced. The Commission recommends a lead minister should be positioned within Government, with specific responsibility in elevating global standards on environment and animal welfare in international forums to ensure these standards are adhered to.
The report addresses the huge opportunity ahead of the UK Government to demonstrate global leadership on animal welfare standards, by setting trade policy that makes it impossible to import animal products that have been farmed to lower standards than our own. In doing so, we would be supporting the UK’s food and agricultural industry and responding to consumer concern over the import of chlorinated chickens or hormone-treated beef.
For the first time in 47 years, the UK Government has the autonomy to negotiate independent trade deals, and it is vital that these put our farm animal welfare standards at the forefront. If the Government adhere to the proposals from the Commission to safeguard our standards and maintain tariffs on products that are either illegal to produce in this country or fall below our standards, we can guarantee that the food we eat will not be compromised by Brexit.
Our food is safe, healthy, affordable, produced in a way which does not harm the planet, respects the dignity of animals and provides proper reward for those involved.
Trade and Agriculture Commission