RSPCA calls for post-Brexit animal welfare reforms

A poll by the RSPCA has revealed eight out of 10 people want animal welfare laws improved or at least kept the same after the UK leaves the EU. 

The poll found that 81% of the public believe that post-Brexit animal welfare laws in the UK should be improved or at least maintained at the same level.

David Bowles, RSPCA head of public affairs, said: “This poll sends a really strong message to the government, as they negotiate our way out of the EU, that the public care deeply about animal welfare.

“There’s no doubt that Brexit is going to be a complex issue, a lot of legislation covering farm animals in particular will need to be reviewed, but this is a golden opportunity for the government to improve welfare and also consider rewarding farmers who rear to higher-welfare standards.”

According to Bowles, the government has already said that leaving the European Union gives opportunities to update and improve animal welfare in some key areas, and the RSPCA believes they should be looking at issues such as compulsory CCTV in abattoirs; mandatory labelling of food according to how animals were reared; reforming the slaughter legislation to end non-stun slaughter; and ensuring that the meat from those animals that have not been stunned only goes to those communities exempt under the law.

It also wants the government to change the way subsidies are paid to farmers, to encourage those who improve animal welfare, and put in place measures to end live exports and reducing journey times for animals being transported.

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