A new report has warned that Brexit poses a significant threat to animal welfare in the United Kingdom. The Lords report says that Brexit has the potential to trigger a fall in animal welfare standards since cheap import food will make farmers in the UK to prioritize competing over care of animals. The report on animal welfare that was published a few days ago points out that British farmers might be pushed to fight for animal welfare standards once Britain leaves the European Union. The report says that this could happen because farmers will be forced to compete against inexpensive imported food from countries producing products of lower standards than the UK.
According to the report, Theresa May’s administration should consider prioritizing animal welfare in all post-Brexit free trade deals. The government must also negotiate to find ways on how to include provisions regarding farm animal welfare in upcoming free trade pacts. The report comes the same period as the Cabinet disagree on whether the UK should import food that is being banned by the EU as part of free trade agreement with the US. In the context of a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, the country might be forced to import lower quality foods such as chlorine-washed chickens, lactic acid pork and hormone-grown beef.
On Monday, Fox faulted the British journalist by saying that they are obsessed with the issue of food standards. However, they added that the matter would only be discussed in detail at the very end stage of one sector to ensure that they create enough time to tackle this sensitive subject. Currently, the UK is being endangered from the methods of food products used in the US and other developed countries. For instance, the EU has banned the use of chlorine-washed chicken due to safety trepidations and the fear that they might result in negligent hygiene practice somewhere in the supply chain.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister May told the government that they should be proud of their country given that it has the highest animal welfare standards across the globe. This provides the county with the highest score for animal protection in the world and exiting the EU will never affect that. However, the House of Lords committee has warned, saying that the demand for high-welfare products will be driven if consumers' priorities are buying those goods, at a higher price instead of purchasing cheaper, lower-welfare products. In conclusion, the report says that it might be difficult to reconcile the wish of the government of the UK becoming the global leader in free trade.