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Lords investigate implications of Brexit for farm animal welfare

The House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has launched a short inquiry into the implications of Brexit on farm animal welfare. The inquiry will consist of a one-off roundtable discussion on Wednesday 5 April with leading academics and industry experts.

In evidence given to the Committee during its inquiry Brexit: Agriculture, witnesses raised concerns that after Brexit, a new trading regime with countries operating lower standards for animal welfare could undermine the high standards of the UK.

Government ministers have expressed clear intentions to maintain high standards of welfare for farm animals after Brexit. This inquiry will further examine the possible effects of Brexit on farm animal welfare and identify the challenges and opportunities facing the Government in maintaining the UK's role as a global leader in farm animal welfare.

The Committee will begin the roundtable discussion at 10:00am and participants include:

  • Minette Batters, National Farmers Union
  • Gudrun Ravetz, British Veterinary Association
  • David Clarke, Red Tractor
  • Chris Mallon, National Beef Association
  • Phil Stocker, National Beef Association
  • Dr. Georgina Crayford, National Pig Association
  • Richard Griffiths, British Poultry Council
  • Dr. Siobhan Mullan, University of Bristol
  • Professor Lynn Frewer, Newcastle University
  • Professor Richard Bennett, University of Reading
  • Peter Stevenson, Compassion in World Farming

The Committee also hopes that representatives for consumers, supermarkets and DEFRA will attend.

The participants will explore topics including:

  • What are the critical issues that must be addressed in terms of farm animal welfare regulations, compliance and enforcement to deliver these intentions?
  • Which monitoring bodies and mechanisms of enforcement need to be expanded or created post-Brexit?
  • What action must the Government take to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in farm animal welfare after Brexit?
  • To what extent might trade pose a risk or an opportunity for UK farm animal welfare after Brexit? What tools could or should the UK government employ to ensure that any risks are mitigated (e.g. labelling of products, restrictions on imports, trade agreements)?
  • Will current levels of inspections be adequate to maintain consumer confidence?

The discussion will start at 10.00am on Wednesday 5 April and will be held in Committee Room 4A of the House of Lords.

The Committee welcomes written evidence which should be sent to the clerk of the Committee, Celia Stenderup-Petersen (, by Saturday 8 April 2017.

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