Factory Farming: Animal Welfare

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 23 May 2024.

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Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of factory farms; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.

Photo of Mark Spencer Mark Spencer The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

There are a number of different farming systems within the UK and farms of all sizes have a role to play in promoting sustainable UK agriculture. The Government promotes efficient, competitive farming, but does not seek to favour large- or small-scale farms.

All farms must comply with comprehensive UK law on animal health and welfare, planning, veterinary medicines and environmental legislation. Stockmanship and high husbandry standards are key to ensuring appropriate welfare standards for all farmed animals.

We are committed to supporting farmers to exceed our existing world-leading animal welfare standards, including through the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.

A full monitoring, evaluation and learning plan for the Pathway is in place to help assess the impact of financial support being offered to farmers. This is being implemented gradually as more Pathway offers are launched.

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