UK vets stunned as MPs vote against Agriculture Bill amendment on import standards

Vets across the United Kingdom lament a "severe blow for animal welfare" as MPs vote against an amendment that would require food imports to meet the same rigorous welfare and safety standards as UK farm products.
calendar icon 13 October 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

BVA, which represents over 18,000 vets across the UK, has previously urged the Government not to allow animal welfare standards to be compromised in pursuit of future trade deals.

James Russell, BVA President, said: “This result is a severe blow for animal welfare and a betrayal of the Government’s own manifesto commitment to maintain and improve on health and welfare standards.

“After such a strong show of support in the Lords, it is bitterly disappointing that the majority of MPs have chosen to ignore the groundswell of public and professional feeling and have voted against a clause that would have safeguarded our own renowned standards and offered crucial protections to the reputation and livelihood of the UK’s farming industry. We have long argued that the UK cannot commit to raising the bar domestically while allowing in goods that don’t meet the high standards that British consumers rightly want and expect.

“If the government won’t legislate to protect our standards it is vital that the Trade and Agriculture Commission is given more powers and stature to safeguard them in future trade deals.”

BVA, which represents over 18,000 vets across the UK, has previously urged the Government not to allow animal welfare standards to be compromised in pursuit of future trade deals.

James Russell, BVA President, said: “This result is a severe blow for animal welfare and a betrayal of the Government’s own manifesto commitment to maintain and improve on health and welfare standards.

“After such a strong show of support in the Lords, it is bitterly disappointing that the majority of MPs have chosen to ignore the groundswell of public and professional feeling and have voted against a clause that would have safeguarded our own renowned standards and offered crucial protections to the reputation and livelihood of the UK’s farming industry. We have long argued that the UK cannot commit to raising the bar domestically while allowing in goods that don’t meet the high standards that British consumers rightly want and expect.

“If the government won’t legislate to protect our standards it is vital that the Trade and Agriculture Commission is given more powers and stature to safeguard them in future trade deals.”

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