Livestock: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taking to improve animal conditions on farms.

Photo of David Rutley David Rutley Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Government Whip

The Government is making good on our commitment to make the UK a world leader in the care and protection of animals as we leave the EU. We are planning to increase maximum penalties for animal cruelty from six months’ to five years’ imprisonment. We are updating our statutory welfare codes, starting with the publication of new meat chicken and laying hen codes last year. These codes strengthen guidance for keepers and owners of livestock on how to meet the needs of their animals and enhance their welfare.

We are considering what more can be done to improve our already high animal welfare standards in the context of our future agricultural policy. In England, we intend to develop publicly-funded schemes for farmers to deliver animal welfare enhancements beyond our high regulatory baseline that are not sufficiently rewarded by the market.

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