June 6th 2020
One of the advantages of leaving the EU, we were told, was that we would be able to enforce our own high animal welfare standards and protect our farmers without having to allow, under EU regulations, the importing of products generated under conditions not permitted in the United Kingdom.
There is now a real risk that future trade deals with non-EU counties may lead to a different and potentially worse lowering of standards. That is why I voted for an amendment to the Agriculture bill to try to enshrine our animal welfare protections in law and that is why, as it was defeated, I believe that we must now seek an amendment to the Trade bill to do the same job.
I do not, though, support calls for a `Food Standards Commission`. We already have a Food Standards Agency and I do not believe that creating yet another quango will do anything at all for animal welfare. What we need, what the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation is calling for and and what we must strive for is robust legislation that enacts the pledges made by Michael Gove when he was the Secretary of State for Agriculture (DEFRA).