Agriculture Bill and animal welfare

A number of constituents have been in touch about the Agriculture Bill and amendments relating to animal welfare standards and the UK's trade policy.
 
All animals deserve to be respected and cared for throughout their lives, which is why I welcome the Government's very clear commitment that future trade agreements must uphold our country's high animal welfare standards. Ministers have made clear these standards will not be watered down in pursuit of any trade deal.
 
Public consultations will be run ahead of any negotiations for new trade agreements, while any final agreement will be scrutinised and ratified by Parliament. These measures will ensure that both Parliament and the public can have their say on the content of any potential new trade agreements, including in the area of animal welfare standards.
 

To provide continuity in our country's existing trade relationships, the Government will transition existing EU trade agreements, to which our country is party, into UK law. As these trade agreements will be transitioned on the closest possible terms as each original agreement, this process will not have an impact on animal welfare standards.
 
Outside the EU, the UK will have an independent seat at bodies such as the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and will be in a better position to promote improved animal welfare standards internationally. Furthermore, EU rules currently prevent the UK from restricting or banning live animal exports, which is why I am pleased that there has been a recent call for evidence to consider the best ways to control live animal exports and improve conditions for animals during transport after we leave the EU.
 
The Government is committed to maintaining the UK's high animal welfare standards as we leave the EU, this includes in any future free trade agreements that we strike with countries around the world.