The UK’s excessive animal welfare requirements face a “clear and present danger” from post-Brexit commerce offers with out more durable authorities guidelines, a examine has warned.
Domestic farming will likely be undercut if the “soft” method of the Australia and New Zealand negotiations continues in talks with international locations with “less qualms” about high quality, it argues.
The alarm has been raised over a hoped-for settlement with India – which Boris Johnson has promised will likely be struck in October – as a result of it “has many animal rights practices prohibited at home”.
The authorities is urged to insist on “core standards” that will assure how a product is made – in addition to that product’s security – within the report by the ResPublica suppose tank.
“The clear and present danger here is that the high standards the UK sets for itself will be undermined once meat and other animal products start being shipped en masse from abroad,” stated its director, Phillip Blond.
“The problem will only become more acute as we engage countries with even less qualms about exporting cheap, unethically-produced products to the UK.”
The examine is backed by each the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the National Farmers Union (NFU), which each criticised the Australia and New Zealand offers.
David Bowles, head of public affairs on the RSPCA, stated: “We are yet to see any real assurances that production standards – which would place us as global leaders for animal welfare – will not be undermined for the sake of a quick deal.”
And Nick von Westenholz, the NFU’s director of Trade and Business Strategy, stated future offers should go “beyond merely warm words”.
“No one wants to see high-welfare and sustainably produced home-grown food undermined by trade deals which fail to meet our own legal requirements on animal welfare and environmental protection,” he stated.
The ResPublica report, entitled ‘UK Trade Policy and Animal Welfare’, notes that, though India bans the killing of animals for meals with out beautiful them first, “in practice this rule is often ignored”.
The Independent revealed how meat from cows saved in harsh situations banned within the UK might be imported from Australia, the place cattle are transported for as much as 48 hours with out relaxation.
The journey occasions are greater than thrice the restrict of 14 hours on this nation, a determine anticipated to be minimize to 10.5 hours underneath post-Brexit adjustments.
Controversy over the settlement – which can punish the farming and meals sectors on the federal government’s personal figures – has grown after a promise to present MPs a ultimate say earlier than approval was damaged.
Mr Johnson has set two commerce deadlines for his successor, to strike the India commerce deal by Diwali and to hitch the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by the tip of the 12 months.
But hopes of an settlement with the USA – as soon as seen as the most important Brexit prize – have light due to Joe Biden’s lack of curiosity and the rows over the Northern Ireland Protocol.