The House of Commons voted down the Animal Welfare Amendment on 12th October. Sadly MPs voted down Amendment 16 to the Agriculture Bill which would have required agricultural and food imports to the UK to meet domestic standards.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) president James Russell 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.”
Mr Russell added: “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.”
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood, reacting to the vote on food standards, said: “Tonight, the Government once again failed to make good their manifesto promise that they will not sell out the UK’s animal welfare for a quick trade deal.”
Farmers who are demanding that food standards are upheld in post-Brexit trade deals took to the streets of London in their tractors for a demonstration.