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NPA to call for UK welfare standards to be protected in Lords inquiry

3rd Apr 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The NPA will have the chance to feed in its views to a House of Lords inquiry into the implications of Brexit on farm animal welfare this week.

GCSenior policy advisor Georgina Crayford (left) will take part in a roundtable discussion hosted by the EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee on Wednesday, April 5, starting at 10am. 

The committee launched the short inquiry after witnesses raised concerns during its wider inquiry into Brexit and Agriculture that a new post-Brexit trading regime with countries operating lower standards for animal welfare could undermine the high standards of the UK.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Government ministers have expressed clear intentions to maintain high standards of welfare for farm animals after Brexit. 

However, Farming Minister George Eustice has acknowledged that WTO rules currently restrict the extent to which countries can legally insist on equivalence in welfare rules under trade deals. 

The NPA has insisted that the UK pork industry must be protected under any new trade deals with the likes of the US, Canada and Brazil. It is calling for equivalence in all standards, including welfare, and if necessary quotas and possibly tariffs to restrict lower standard products. 

The full list of participants is:

  • Minette Batters, National Farmers Union
  • Gudrun Ravetz, British Veterinary Association
  • David Clarke, Red Tractor
  • Chris Mallon, National Beef Association
  • Phil Stocker, National Beef Association
  • Dr. Georgina Crayford, National Pig Association
  • Richard Griffiths, British Poultry Council
  • Dr. Siobhan Mullan, University of Bristol
  • Professor Lynn Frewer, Newcastle University
  • Professor Richard Bennett, University of Reading
  • Peter Stevenson, Compassion in World Farming

The Committee also hopes that representatives for consumers, supermarkets and DEFRA will attend.

The participants will explore varous topics including:

  • What are the critical issues that must be addressed in terms of farm animal welfare regulations, compliance and enforcement to deliver these intentions?
  • Which monitoring bodies and mechanisms of enforcement need to be expanded or created post-Brexit?
  • What action must the Government take to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in farm animal welfare after Brexit?
  • To what extent might trade pose a risk or an opportunity for UK farm animal welfare after Brexit? What tools could or should the UK government employ to ensure that any risks are mitigated (e.g. labelling of products, restrictions on imports, trade agreements)?
  • Will current levels of inspections be adequate to maintain consumer confidence?

The evidence session is open to the public. You can also watch it live on the internet at www.parliamentlive.tv

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