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Animal welfare
Will Brexit lead to ‘race to the bottom’ for UK food animal welfare standards?

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The food animal sector found itself at the heart of political debate this week with the future of animal welfare standards following Brexit at its core.

A House of Lords report warned that UK farming could find itself in a ‘race to the bottom’ over welfare standards if the Government did not act to protect them.

While the UK has some of the highest farm animal welfare standards in the world, a potential increase in imports from countries operating with lower farm animal welfare standards following Brexit could leave UK producers out-priced and at a competitive disadvantage, it said.

The report ‘Brexit: farm animal welfare’, written by EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, was published earlier this week after hearing evidence from a range of organisations, including the BVA, the NFU, the APHA and the RSPCA.

It points out that while high animal welfare standards could be a selling point for UK producers and is something the Prime Minister has pledged to maintain when leaving the EU, they also increase the cost of production. If the UK creates trading relationships with the wider world, this could lead to …

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