A commons debate about farm animal welfare post-Brexit has included claims that leaving the EU offers an opportunity to improve welfare standards in areas such as slaughter, farm support systems and labelling.
During the debate held on Tuesday 24 Jan, MPs made explicit and detailed comments about how they saw post-Brexit farming evolve.
The debate comes just weeks after a poll by the RSPCA revealed eight out of ten people want animal welfare laws improved or at least kept the same after we leave the EU.
The survey found that 81% of the public believe that post Brexit animal welfare laws in the UK should be improved or at least kept at the same level and only 5% disagreed.
Many speakers voiced concerns for the current lack of mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses and spoke about the potential to introduce set guidelines for quality control on the placement of cameras and quality and review process of the footage.
Others spoke about the risk to UK farmers who rear higher welfare products from the UK being undercut by the import of low-welfare, cheaper products – and that the UK should lead the way and set an example for other countries when it comes to robust, high welfare farming.
Another popular topic was that of a clear, concise food labelling system, where consumers could easily identify products that have been raised in high welfare conditions by UK farmers, along with a clear mark to identify if the animal had been slaughtered with or without stunning.