Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Labour animal welfare policy welcomed by United Kingdom vets

Labour animal welfare policy welcomed by United Kingdom vets

The 50 point draft policy document, 'Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few, ' will go out for public consultation and proposes appointing an Animal Welfare Commissioner to ensure Government policy across Whitehall is continually informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience. The proposals include a ban on cruel practices such as the production of foie gras, which involves force-feeding ducks and geese, and the introduction of CCTV in all slaughterhouses.

Few specifics on precisely how the Party would redesign the farming subsidy regime once the United Kingdom leaves the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have been presented, but Labour signalled its intention to "provide clarity to farmers to invest in higher animal welfare standards in the long-term". From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals, Labour has always been consistent in our leadership on matters of animal welfare.

"This would include an exemption for breeding animals, providing provision is in place ensuring they are transported under genuinely high welfare standards", says the paper. Adding that Labour's proposed plans, which would also include a ban on live exports, "could be the beginning of the end of cruel factory farming".

There would also be an exemption for livestock transported across the Northern Ireland border.

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The Commissioner would also ensure animal welfare standards are always considered in new legislation and are maintained in Britain's involvement in global bodies and post-Brexit trade deals.

The environment secretary Michael Gove has promised to ensure that animal welfare standards will not fall when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

Other proposals in the document include: Introduce a formal whistle blowing procedure through the Food Standards Agency to enable employees to report bad behaviour and practice within abattoirs; Design post-Brexit farm subsidies to move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices; Issue new guidance to end the use of antibiotics for routine, preventative purposes with farm animals.

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