The Government has been very clear that leaving the EU will not lead to a lowering of our high animal welfare standards, and 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.
Our regulatory system will offer at least the same level of assurance of animal welfare following our departure from the EU as it does now. The EU Withdrawal Act will ensure that existing EU standards are maintained once we leave the EU. For instance, existing bans on imports of chlorinated chicken and hormone beef have been transferred into UK law and will remain in place after we leave.
We are actively exploring options for strengthening the UK system moving forward. These include plans to increase maximum penalties for animal cruelty from six months’ to five years’ imprisonment. We are also considering what more can be done to improve animal welfare standards in the context of our future agricultural policy and are looking to control exports of live animals for slaughter.