The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is warning the government not to “sell out” animal welfare in its post-Brexit trade deal with Australia.
There are lower legal animal welfare standards in Australia, including barren battery cages for hens, chlorinated chicken, growth hormone treatment for beef and sow stalls.
Furthemore, the charity emphasised that introducing UK supermarkets to cheap, low welfare Australian imports would impact the livelihoods of farmers in the country.
Chris Sherwood, the RSPCA chief executive, said: “Just days ago the Government vowed to be a global leader for animal welfare, with Defra publishing a wide-ranging and comprehensive strategy.
“Now the Department for International Trade is looking to sign a quick trade deal with a country still using worse systems which could undermine that pledge. We’d urge the Prime Minister not to betray the public, farmers and animals.”
He added: “While we welcome a trade deal with Australia in principle, it must include safeguards – tariff or non-tariff – to ensure only those products produced to higher animal welfare standards can enter the UK.
“The UK public have made it clear they do not want lower welfare imports like eggs from hens reared in barren battery cages, chlorinated chicken, hormone treated beef and products from sheep that have been mutilated using practices banned in the UK coming into the country.”