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Trade Bill amendment to protect animal welfare post-Brexit


“This is a significant and welcome piece of legislation that we hope will pave the way to protecting animal welfare standards across the board post-Brexit” – David Bowles, RSPCA.

Amendment protects all legislative protections affecting “human, animal or plant life or health

The government has backed an amendment to the Trade Bill that will ensure the UK’s animal welfare standards are protected post-Brexit.

Agreed on Wednesday (20 March), the amendment protects all legislative protections affecting “human, animal or plant life or health; animal welfare; environmental protection; and employment and labour.”

Welcoming the move, RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “This is a significant and welcome piece of legislation that we hope will pave the way to protecting animal welfare standards across the board post-Brexit.

“From the outset, we’ve been clear on the need for animal welfare legislation once EU laws no longer apply to us, so we are pleased the government has accepted that animals need to be protected when we leave the EU. But this is just the start, as the law will only apply to current trade deals – not those in the future.”

Mr Bowles added that the legislation must now roll into the new Agriculture Bill and must inform other policies which could have a bearing on standards of animal welfare.

He said that the RSPCA is seeking for all current animal welfare laws to be kept to the same stands, including:

    •    all animals to still be recognised as being sentient 
    •    free trade agreements that prohibit products being imported with lower welfare standards
    •    improvement in key areas of animal welfare, such as long distance live transport, food labelling, trade of endangered species and puppy imports.