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RSPCA Petition Calls for Animal Welfare Protection Amidst US-UK Trade Talks

The RSPCA in the UK and a US Animal Welfare expert have spoken on the need to protect animal rights during US-UK Trade Talks

Published on August 18, 2020

Boris Johnson Prime Minister Johnson visited Darnford Farm, Aberdeenshire in September 2019. Photo: Number 10 Downing Street

A US based Animal Welfare expert and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) in the UK have released a video and petition to highlight the importance of animal rights during Free Trade discussions between the US and the UK.

In the video, Lauri Torgerson, Research Director at Farm Sanctuary, says that "Consumers want to know that the animals they're eating have been treated well, at least while they were alive, and we can’t say that in the United States at all." Torgerson goes on to explain that "Our industrial animal agriculture system is designed to benefit these huge, often multinational corporations, at the expense of animal welfare, farmer well-being and the earth. I think that the UK has been a leader in animal welfare, and has a way to go still, but buying animal products from the US would dilute all the hard work that’s gone into improving the systems there and I think that the average consumer in the UK would be very disappointed to know that the products they’re buying could be coming from these systems in the US that don’t support the rights of animals or humans, or the earth."

RSPCA Chief Executive, Chris Sherwood, followed up by saying that "This video from the US gives a stark warning about what could end up on our supermarket shelves if the UK Government does not act now to legally protect our welfare standards. We know this is a concern for consumers and without clear legislation banning food produced to lower welfare standards from our shores, we risk setting back animal welfare by decades, causing the suffering of more animals to produce the food on our plates and failing to protect British farmers ... We urge UK shoppers to sign this petition in the hope that the Government will listen to the British public and protect our hard-won farm animal welfare."

The RSPCA is calling for an Agriculture Bill to legally guarantee that "imports produced to lower animal welfare standards than our own will not enter the UK."

The video and petition are available to see on the RSPCA website, at www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/farmanimals

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