Oxford Farming Conference: Green MEP accuses Defra Secretary of duplicity on animal welfare issues

 

Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East and a member of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, is calling out Andrea Leadsom’s duplicity on animal welfare issues, following the Environment Minister’s speech at the Oxford Farming Conference 2017 today.

Mr. Taylor, who is also the Green Party’s Animals spokesperson, said:

“Andrea Leadsom has again attempted to vilify EU safeguards by labelling them as ‘red tape’ and, most concerningly, promising to scrap the vital protections. The ‘red tape’ the Environment Minister is threatening to cut is currently protecting our rural environment, our biodiversity, our soil, and the welfare of farm animals.

“Ms. Leadsom hails the UK’s ‘world-leading position in animal welfare’, but fails to acknowledge the key role EU membership has played in raising the welfare of millions of British farm animals. The foxhunt and badger cull supporting Minister also fails to acknowledge that her cabinet colleague has described laws protecting our wildlife as ‘spirit crushing‘ and attempted, before the referendum, to water down the welfare guidelines for poultry farming.

“In truth, and as recognised by MPs sitting on the Environmental Audit Committee today, leaving the European Union also puts at risk the body of EU law which accounts for almost 80% of UK wildlife and animal welfare protections.

“The closer the relationship the UK maintains with the EU, retaining animal welfare and wildlife protections through single market membership, the better the outcome for British animals. Animal advocates across the UK must apply pressure on Andrea Leadsom to ensure the current legal protections, for all species, offered by European Union membership are maintained and strengthened.”