RSPCA response to EFRA report The Future of Food, Farming and the Environment

UK - RSPCA’s Head of Public Affairs David Bowles said: “It’s encouraging that EFRA recognises the importance of farm animal welfare as a public good in UK agriculture policy post-Brexit
calendar icon 8 June 2018
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“We welcome EFRA’s support for targeted farm payments for improved animal welfare, method of production labelling and trade agreement policies that would prevent low welfare imports. We also agree that clarity is needed on the length of the transition period and how much money Treasury will make available for these payments.

“Recognition that animal welfare is a public good and support for promoting environmental and animal welfare with direct payments after the UK leaves the EU is very welcome. The RSPCA has provided many examples of how this could work in practice through a farm support system in its own report, ‘Into the Fold’ and is keen to see trials go ahead.

“This support for UK farm animal welfare comes at a time when the EU’s current CAP negotiations suggest that farmers in Europe after Brexit will still be paid to produce food without having to meet environmental or all the animal welfare standards in return.

“We also welcome EFRA’s conclusion on method of food production labelling as we believe this would give consumers the information they need - but recognise this will be a challenge for food products.

“In order to promote UK farming and prevent any race to the bottom in terms of quality, the Government is right to say that trade negotiations should support animal welfare. As EFRA suggests, Government policy should ensure that trade agreements prevent food imports that do not meet high animal welfare standards.”

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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