Meat: Australia

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2021.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether (a) meat is slaughtered in Australian slaughterhouses to standards equivalent to those in the UK and (b) Australian meat would comply with Schedule 5 of The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Any imports of meat from Australian slaughterhouses into the UK must come from an establishment that has been assessed by the competent authority in Australia to supply goods that are at least equivalent to UK standards as required under Article 127(3)(e) of Retained Regulation 2017/625.

Meat imported from trading partners, including Australia, must also comply with Article 12 of Retained Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. Schedule 5 of The Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (England) Regulations 2015 provides for the enforcement of this requirement.

At the end of the transition period, existing EU legislation and standards on food safety and animal health and welfare were enshrined in UK law, including existing approvals and restrictions for Australia to import meat into Great Britain. Prior to this, the competent authority in Australia was assessed by the European Commission in 2019 for the import of meat products, including for welfare at slaughter, and was found to be compliant.

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