A new Animal Welfare Commissioner should be appointed to ensure animal welfare standards are not watered down in any post-Brexit trade deals.
That is one of the key recommendations from Labour’s new 50 point Animal Welfare Plan launched today.
Animal sentience was incorporated into EU law in 2009 following years of campaigning by animal rights activists - so European laws must take into account that animals feel pain and emotion.
We have Europe to thank for Britain getting welfare laws banning barren cages for battery hens, banning sow stalls which kept pigs unable to move for most of their lives and for introducing a Europe wide ban on animal testing.
Member of the European Parliament Alex Mayer said:
“Never has the future of animal welfare looked so uncertain under this Conservative government with a chaotic, race-to-the bottom Brexit.
“With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place.
“We have made impressive advances on animal rights over the years. Britain is a nation of animal lovers so we must speak up on animals’ behalf so no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and we continue to drive up standards in line with the most recent scientific understanding.”
The proposals have been endorsed by the League against Cruel Sports, Compassion in World Farming and WWF.