Australian cattle feedlot

Speak up for animals

Send a message to the Secretary of State

The UK Government has reportedly agreed a trade deal with Australia that breaks their promises for animals.

Please email Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade, and tell her that the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement is unacceptable.

For years, the UK Government has insisted that the country’s animal welfare standards won’t be put at risk by trade deals struck after leaving the EU.

But, now, the first major, post-Brexit Free Trade Agreement (FTA) looks set to put animal welfare under threat.

The Australian Government has stated that, under the agreement brokered by Liz Truss and agreed by the Australian and British Prime Ministers, tens of thousands of tonnes of Australian meat could be exported to the UK, tariff-free, in the first year. Then the quotas would grow, year-on-year, until tariffs are totally eliminated.

Crucially, too, there has been little indication so far that the trade deal will require imports from Australia to meet UK animal welfare standards. Despite the fact that:

  • Many Australian cows are fattened in cruel, barren feedlots.
  • Confining hens in barren cages is still common in Australia, whilst these cages are banned in the UK.
  • The misuse of antibiotics is rife in Australian farms – with use per animal up to 16 times higher than in the UK.

As a result, higher welfare UK farmers could be undermined by cheaper, factory farmed imports. This could be devastating for animals on both sides of the world: supporting low-welfare practices in Australia and putting pressure on the UK to cut standards.

What’s more, the Australian deal may pave the way for tariff-free imports of more intensively-farmed products when the UK strikes other trade deals, including with the USA.

Together, we must send a clear signal to the Secretary of State that the UK-Australia FTA is unacceptable for animals, higher welfare farmers, and for the UK’s reputation. Please, take action today.

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The broken promises

The UK-Australia trade deal looks set to go against the Conservative Party’s manifesto and the recent Queen’s Speech. This speech, on 11th May, said the Government would “ensure the United Kingdom has, and promotes, the highest standards of animal welfare.

The Free Trade Agreement also contrasts with the commitments of numerous Ministers – including repeated assurances from Liz Truss herself

“As we committed to in our manifesto in all our trade negotiations we will not compromise our high… animal welfare and food standards.” – Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade, February 2020 

“When it comes to food… we will never sign a trade deal that leaves our farming industry with its high animal welfare standards worse off.” – Liz Truss, June 2020 

“As we will in all negotiations, we remain committed to upholding our high… animal welfare standards in our trade agreement with Australia…” – Liz Truss, December 2020 

“I have been very clear that in every trade deal we sign, we will not lower our excellent standards… and we will not expose our farmers to unfair competition.” – Liz Truss, February 2021 

We cannot stand by whilst the Government breaks its own promises, and puts the wellbeing of animals at risk. Please, email Liz Truss today. 

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Spread the word

Please ask your friends and family to join you and help protect UK animal welfare standards:

Call out the broken promises

 

Please email Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade

Ask the Minister why the UK Government has reportedly agreed a trade deal with Australia that breaks their promises to protect animal welfare standards.

Please complete the form, and review and edit your email on the next page.