RSPCA urges residents to contact MPs in a bid to protect UK from low animal welfare imports post-Brexit - The Leamington Observer

RSPCA urges residents to contact MPs in a bid to protect UK from low animal welfare imports post-Brexit

Leamington Editorial 27th Sep, 2020   0

THE RSPCA is urging Warwickshire and West Midlands residents to lobby their MP to act now and save animal welfare post-Brexit.

The animal charity says a crunch vote on the Agricultural Bill could lead to lower welfare imports.

It comes after the House of Lords voted an amendment to the bill to ban imports of products produced to a lower welfare standard than the UK.

But the charity says when the bill returns to the Commons on Wednesday (October 7) a failure by MPs to support it will leave the UK facing a flood of imports such as chlorinated chicken, eggs from hens kept in barren battery cages, pork from pigs reared in sow stalls and hormone beef – products made to welfare standards that are illegal in the UK.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said government made a manifesto promise to stop lower standard imports when the UK leaves the EU, but this has not been enshrined in law.

He told the Observer: “The government must now honour its manifesto promise and back this amendment. If it doesn’t, MPs must vote with their conscience and reflect the strong feelings of the public. It’s a choice between protecting the UK’s globally-recognised high farm animal welfare standards or allowing in products like chlorinated chicken and hormone beef from abroad.

“We are pleased the Lords have voted for a law to stop imports of food produced to lower farm animal welfare standards but now that the Agriculture Bill returns to the Commons, we urge MPs to seriously consider what’s at stake here.

“Unless MPs also agree to enshrine in law what was promised in the conservative manifesto, a no-deal would mean the UK faces a flood of imported food that is illegal in the UK.

“Failure to act now could result in a catastrophic weakening of the hard-won protections for millions of animals in this country and could risk setting back animal welfare for many years ahead. It would also threaten UK farmers’ livelihoods as they would be at risk of being undercut by imports produced to much lower welfare methods than are allowed in the UK.

“We need MPs to realise how strongly the public feels about this issue and are urging people to contact their local MP to pressure them to support this law to stop lower welfare imports coming into the UK.”

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