The RSPCA said the UK Government needs “more than just words” to prove its animal welfare agenda is back on track – as the Prime Minister announced a new six-point plan he said will ensure British farming is at the heart of trade.
The charity has cautiously welcomed much of the plan, which was announced at the Downing Street Farm to Fork Summit Food Summit, including refreshed commitments to protect UK food standards in trade and to promote high welfare standards.
However, the RSPCA said “the proof will be in the pudding” with animal welfare having too often taken a “back seat” in post-Brexit trade negotiations.
RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “The UK Government needs to put animal welfare at the heart of their food policy.
“But while there’s much to welcome in the six-point plan, it will take more than just words for this administration to get their animal welfare agenda, and commitment to high welfare in trade, back on track.”
Mr Bowles continued: “When it comes to protecting animal welfare in trade, the proof will be in the pudding. But Ministers have already sold out on imported eggs and pig products from Canada, and UK markets have been opened up to lower-welfare beef and lamb from Australia, so clearly there needs to be a change in course to match the rhetoric of this Summit.”