Report illustrates animal welfare progress in UK

The government has made considerable progress on improving animal welfare in the UK, according to its five-year progress report.

Commissioned by the Inter-Ministerial Group on International Animal Welfare the report – The Government’s 5 Year Progress Report on International Animal Welfare – summarises how the UK has contributed to improvements in welfare standards in the past five years.

“Animal welfare is an increasing concern amongst the general public, who frequently look to government to take the lead in both maintaining and improving standards. As an internationally acknowledged exemplar of expertise and good practice, it is important that the UK plays an active role globally too,” First Secretary of State William Hague wrote in the report.

As the report states, the government has made significant progress in tackling the growth in the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT); reducing the unnecessary use of animals in research internationally; sharing UK expertise to improve animal wellbeing; pressing for higher animal welfare standards in Europe and beyond; and safeguarding farm animal welfare protection in International Financial Institution (IFI) funding.

On sharing UK expertise, the report congratulated the work of Bpex and Eblex in strengthening export market relationships. The report said levy boards were continuing to develop strong relationships with their export markets, through the exchange of expertise in a range of areas (including animal welfare) and this is set to continue as competition for worldwide sales intensifies. It said: “The government has encouraged this and wider collaboration, given that stockmanship is widely recognised as the single most important influence on animal welfare, and thus industry buy-in is critical to the success of any initiative to raise standards.

“Significant increases in UK exports of pork, beef and lamb in recent years have been achieved, partly at least, as a result of our reputation for a high-quality product (underpinned by robust animal health and welfare standards).”

You can read the full report here.

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