Livestock: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 2nd November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the food welfare standards for hens and sows reared in Brazil, Thailand, Canada and the United States; and (2) whether future tariffs on imported poultry and pork products from those countries could be linked to higher animal welfare standards.

Photo of Lord Gardiner of Kimble Lord Gardiner of Kimble The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Brazil, Canada, Thailand and the US all have laws designed to protect farm animals, and in the case of the United States they vary from state to state. Defra is not aware of any detailed comparative analysis of these countries’ welfare standards.

All produce imported into the EU must comply with EU rules and these standards will apply to imports into the UK and domestic production when we leave the EU. As we move towards a new relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, we are determined to maintain our high standards and improve them where appropriate.

Any future trade agreements must work for consumers, farmers, and businesses in the UK. We will not water down our standards on food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection as part of any future trade deals.

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