Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Danielle Rowley Danielle Rowley Labour, Midlothian

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to increase animal welfare standards after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to maintain animal rights through legislation after the UK leaves the EU.

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

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.

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