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Agriculture Bill setback was a ‘bitter blow’

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By Matthew Limb

Vet leaders say they will keep fighting to secure vital animal welfare and food production protections in trade laws following a bitterly disappointing Commons setback with the Agriculture Bill.

An amendment to the Agriculture Bill introducing ‘cast-iron assurances’ that imports produced to lower animal health and welfare standards will not be accepted by the UK as part of future trade deals, was voted down by MPs on 13 May.

Daniella Dos Santos, BVA president, said the defeat – by 328 votes against the amendment to 277 for – was a ‘bitter blow’ and missed a ‘golden opportunity’ to meet the high standards sought by British consumers.

But the BVA, farm sector leaders and some MPs say all is not lost. As the Bill now passes to the House of Lords, they have pledged to keep trying to ensure the government honours its manifesto commitment to maintain and enhance animal welfare standards post-Brexit.

Dos Santos said: ‘Hopes will now be pinned …

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