Send a message to the Secretary of State
The UK Government has signed a trade deal with Australia that breaks their promises for animals.
Please email Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade. Call on her to commit to protecting animal welfare standards in future free trade deals.
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) will put animal welfare under threat.
Under the deal signed by Australian and British 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, the deal will not require imports from Australia to meet UK animal welfare standards. Despite the fact that:
- Many Australian cows are fattened in cruel, barren feedlots.
- Many Australian sheep are subject to ‘mulesing’ – a painful procedure that involves cutting skin from the rear of the animal.
- Confining hens in barren cages is still common in Australia, whilst these cages are banned in the UK.
- Sow stalls are permitted for first 5 days of pregnancy (these cages are also 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 often cheaper, factory farmed imports. This could have devastating effects 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: Trade deals that fail to protect animal welfare standards are unacceptable – for animals, higher welfare farmers, and for the UK’s reputation. Please, take action today. Send now