The RSPCA has this week said that it has serious concerns that the new Trade and Agriculture Commission has failed to include any specialist animal welfare representation.
This, the charity said, is heightened by the Government’s response to the Trade and Agriculture Commission report which reiterated its commitment to upholding animal welfare standards, but ruled out ensuring imports met with UK animal standards.
Chris Sherwood, chief executive of the RSPCA, said the charity welcomes the government’s commitment to getting impact assessments on animal welfare, taking the lead on welfare through international bodies like the World Organisation for Animal Health and the WTO, the commitment to lowering antimicrobial resistance and a consultation on labelling and Government buying standards.
However, the RSPCA is concerned about the lack of detail about how these commitments will be achieved in practice.
Mr Sherwood said: “Although the Government has committed to maintaining welfare standards in international trade deals, the lack of a specific animal welfare representative on the Trade & Agriculture Commission sounds alarm bells.
“The Government has failed to rule out imports of products to lower welfare standards and we have already seen when it comes to the trade-off between protecting welfare and signing a trade deal, it is welfare that misses out.”