How will Brexit affect animal welfare in the UK?

Brexit is going to have a wide impact on the whole of UK society, and animal welfare is no exception. I’ve written a blog in the Telegraph with details of how the expected changes in the law will affect animals: follow the link at the foot of this page for more.

The truth is that nobody knows what’s going to happen. There is hope that the UK may be able to be even more assertive in favour of animal rights, but equally, there’s a fear that the aim of “cheap food” could be championed by UK governments, removing some of the animal protective legislation that has been supported via European directives.

Last week in Dublin, there was a global gathering of the world’s cattle vets, and Brexit was one of the topics being discussed, with fears that animal welfare will be adversely affected.

What can we all do about this? To be positive, local MPs are likely to have more power over day to day happenings in the UK from now on. So if you are concerned about this issue, contact your local representative and let them know. And work with others, such as the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming, so that you can join your voice to a chorus in support of animals.

The European Union has developed a track record of being relatively good to animals. For sure, there are plenty of problems, with intensive poultry, pig and dairy production being the most obvious. But compared to other parts of the world, Europe has done well.

The big question is which direction will the UK follow: will it be closer to Berlin (with favourable animal policies) or will it move towards Boston (with cheap food policies at the expense of animal welfare)?

Only time will tell

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