The British Veterinary Association said it was delighted to see animal welfare high on the political agenda, with cross-party recognition of the value of enshrining animal sentience in UK law post-Brexit.
Commenting on Labour’s draft policy document: ‘Animal Welfare For The Many, Not The Few’, published today, BVA president John Fishwick said: “Animal welfare is at the heart of everything vets do and we have repeatedly called for measures to ensure there is a duty on Government to have regard for animal welfare in policy making.
“It is pleasing to see this, and a number of other animal welfare policies championed by BVA, reflected in the Labour Party’s Animal Welfare Plan.”
Mr Fishwick added: “If we can achieve cross-party support for labelling of non-stun meat we will make significant progress in reducing demand, thereby reducing the number of animals suffering slaughter without stunning. It is also encouraging to see the government’s recent commitment to mandatory CCTV in UK slaughterhouses echoed here.
“We will continue to engage on the future of post-Brexit farm subsidies, particularly regarding the need to support animal health and welfare as a public goods, and on the ongoing responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine.”
Turning to domestic pets, Mr Fishwick added: “The Labour Party’s proposals to improve the welfare of domestic pets, through increased measures to tackle puppy smuggling and bans on both shock collars and the keeping of primates as pets, are particularly welcome and we look forward to discussing the various measures that could be put in place.”