The RSPCA has welcomed many of the recommendations in today’s House of Lords European Committee report on Brexit, which makes a number of proposals to ensure good welfare for farm animals post-Brexit.
The report noted public concern for this issue, quoting the public opinion poll carried out by the RSPCA which revealed eight out of ten people want to protect animal welfare post Brexit*.
David Bowles, RSPCA head of public affairs said: “Securing the means to ensure that farm animal welfare is as high as possible post-Brexit is such an enormous issue for the farming industry, and the public as consumers. The Report gives some clear recommendations to Government on how to help achieve this. We need to be cautious about claiming high standards of welfare across the board, but there are many example of good practice across the country and these should be supported and strengthened.
“We gave oral and written evidence to the Committee and warmly welcome many of the report recommendations. In particular we agree that the Government should seek to maintain and improve animal welfare standards post Brexit, ensure products are not imported to lower welfare standards in any trade agreement, they look at mandatory labelling schemes to give consumers the information they are looking for, and ensure support for farmers producing to higher welfare standards through the new farm support scheme.
“The RSPCA also agreed that we need a new independent body giving evidence-based advice to the Government to replace the European Food Safety Authority when we leave the EU. The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) could form the basis of a replacement body providing it is given adequate resources, has appropriate membership to ensure the necessary scientific rigour currently associated with EFSA, and is transparent.”