FOUR PAWS UK responds to Government Food Strategy

Earlier this week, the Government announced their Food Strategy, which would lay out the future of food and farming in Britain. Unfortunately, it has left many underwhelmed.

14.6.2022

London 14June 2022 – Earlier this week, the Government announced their Food Strategy, which would lay out the future of food and farming in Britain. With notable gaps and watered-down promises, FOUR PAWS UK are urging for the Government to consider higher animal welfare standards in the future of food.

Sonul Badiani-Hamment, UK Country Director of FOUR PAWS UK said: 

“The Government’s watered-down food strategy proposals are a far cry from the actions needed to both tackle the climate emergency and standby our position as leaders in animal welfare. 

The significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions that animal agriculture presents is notably absent, along with the long-proven idea that meat reduction plays a critical role in a sustainable food system. 

Considering the extensive and promising recommendations of the National Food Strategy released in July 2021, we had expected the Government to set out plans to improve farmed animal welfare and to set meat reduction targets to tackle the climate catastrophe. Instead, the Government has failed to ignore recommendations made by even their own climate advisers and those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that a reduction in meat and dairy consumption in necessary to limit global warming. 

The significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions that animal agriculture presents is notably absent, along with the long-proven idea that meat reduction plays a critical role in a sustainable food system. 

Additionally, the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services (GBSF) consultation that has accompanied this white paper holds an aspirational target that at least 50% of food spend in the public sector must be on food produced locally or certified to higher environmental production standards, yet neglects the necessity for a target regarding higher animal welfare standards.  

Despite the disappointing lack of mention of improving animal welfare standards and introducing meat reduction goals, a proposed consultation on mandatory labelling requirements is promised for 2023. We hope this will help consumers identify when products actually meet or exceed UK animal welfare standards and equip them with the necessary information to make an informed purchase. 

This will be especially important until the UK Government agrees to adopt core animal welfare standards in trade policy. Without such standards, as we embark on liberalising trade and signing up to agreements with global partners, the public may be exposed to products produced under animal welfare conditions far lower than our own."

 

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