Animal welfare under threat
From: Keith TaylorGreen Party MEP for the South
The European Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a resolution on the framework of the future relationship between the EU and UK, post-Brexit. This comes ahead of the negotiations on the long-term relationship, where MEPs, unlike MPs in Westminster, will have a final say. The resolution clearly sets out the conditions that the parliament needs to see in any final deal in order for MEPs to grant their approval. Crucially, I and members of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup have ensured it contains strong provisions on animal welfare. The health and welfare of farmed animals in the UK is under threat from Brexit, as my new Animals and Brexit report makes crystal clear. But, shockingly, Ministers continue to indicate a readiness to sacrifice farmed animals on the altar of free trade post-Brexit. A move which is opposed by farmers, animal welfare advocates and the 93% of UK consumers who want to see vital EU safeguards maintained. The clamour of support for EU protections, however, appears to have fallen on deaf ears. The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, in particular, is cheerfully brandishing the Tories’ willingness to sign trade agreements with countries that have far lower standards of animal welfare, and that are actively lobbying to undercut the UK’s safeguards. Compassion for animals is deep within the Green Party’s DNA. I have succeeded in securing animal welfare protections in the European Parliament’s Brexit resolution. But the fight to protect animals in the UK post-Brexit is far from over.