Trade can have an immense and detrimental impact on animal welfare. Animal welfare needs to be placed firmly in the minds of trade negotiators within the U.K. as we move forward with FTAs.

The UK has a considerable body of legislation on the welfare of farm animals. Many of the countries the UK is seeking an FTA with do not. When negotiating trade agreements, the UK must not accept clauses that require the UK to permit the import of meat and dairy products, or eggs, that are produced to lower animal welfare standards than those of the UK. Increasing the access to the UK market without ensuring compliance with our domestic standards promotes sub-standard imports and will affect the competitiveness of British producers. It also means we will lose any leverage in trade negotiations to improve animal welfare globally.

  • The UK Government must insist on the right to refuse to import products produced to lower welfare standards than those of the UK and to enable conditional liberalisation for higher welfare animal-based products based on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas or non-tariff measures.
  • A Free Trade Agreement must formally recognise the links between animal welfare, climate change and antimicrobial resistance under the sustainable development chapter.
  • There is very little scrutiny of trade negotiations and this is particularly the case when it comes to setting tariffs: parliamentarians have no mechanism to challenge the tariffs that the executive lodge with the WTO or amendments by the Government to existing tariffs. Parliament must be fully involved in setting out the negotiating position, scrutinising and then ratifying FTAs and any setting or amending of tariffs must be done with transparent consultation.  The Government should also ensure that key stakeholders are enabled to respond and shape outline deals.
  • The Trade & Agricultural Commission should be established immediately and should have good animal welfare and environmental representation on it. The Commission will be tasked with producing a report on the impact on animal welfare and agriculture of each agreement the Government signs.


EU eyes tighter animal transportation laws

MEPs have today voted to tighten animal welfare laws to improve conditions during live transport, after an investigation by the internal Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals (ANIT) found that not all of the 27 members states have been abiding by existing animal transportation laws.

Alison Knight: The Orangutan and palm oil

The Bornean Orangutan joined the Sumatran Orangutan in 2019 being officially listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and faces extinction in the wild within ten years.(1)

It's time to ban foie gras

Foie gras is a classic example of a product that is made under conditions illegal in Britain but imported for consumption. Around 75% of foie gras is made in France; ducks and geese are overfed by force in order to fatten their livers to 10 times a healthy size to make the delicacy.

Denmark aims to end fish farming expansion

The Danish Government is to begin discussing two bills that will prevent further expansion of fish farming and more effectively supervise existing aquaculture.

EU rejects calls to rename veggie burger a 'disc'

The European Parliament has rejected an amendment to the Common Agricultural Policy, which proposed a ban on the use of names like burger, steak and sausage for plant-based meat replacement foods.

Zac Goldsmith - we can ban supertrawlers after Brexit

Defra Minister Zac Goldsmith is eyeing a potential ban on supertrawlers from some British waters after Brexit. Incredibly, these enormous ships are legally allowed to fish in British Marine Conservation Zones.