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‘UK – don’t let your standards slip’, warns US animal welfare expert

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Jim Reynolds (far left) and David Main at the AWF Discussion Forum

By Matthew Limb

The UK should hold on to its high animal welfare standards and not join ‘a race to the bottom’ in pursuit of a transatlantic trade deal, a leading US veterinary academic has warned.

Jim Reynolds told the Animal Welfare Foundation Discussion Forum: ‘The US is looking desperately to export low-value products, that’s how we make money. So keep your high-value welfare because that becomes something we can attain – our welfare programmes stem from Europe.’

Reynolds, who is professor of large animal medicine and welfare at Western University, California, said US agriculture had become a ‘commodity system’ in which profit margins were low, so farm businesses had grown larger ‘to sell more products’ and were looking to expand markets.

‘When a food product becomes a commodity, it can become a race to the bottom,’ he said.

He said some farms in the Mid West kept …

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