All animals deserve to be respected and cared for at every stage of their lives. The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world, and I am pleased that my Party’s General Election manifesto included a commitment to take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter once we leave the European Union.
A call for evidence was launched in 2018 by the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, on improving animal welfare in transport and controlling live animal exports. The call for evidence lasted six weeks and sought views from across industry, charities and the general public on how the Government might raise standards of animal welfare during transport. The evidence has been passed to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee who are carrying out a review of existing transport standards. They will make recommendations for improvements for when we leave the EU in a report which is expected to be published later this year.
Although much of the discussion to has focused on the export of live animals for slaughter, I am assured that all options for future improvements in this area are being considered. I hope those supporting a ban on the export of animals for fattening took the opportunity to respond to the call for evidence and make their views heard.
Acting on live animal exports forms part of the Government’s programme of reforms to cement the UK’s position as a global leader in animal welfare as we leave the EU, and deliver a Green Brexit. Other measures include making CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses, increasing the maximum sentence for animal abuse from six months to five years and writing the principle of animal sentience into UK law.