LABOUR will launch a set of radical proposals today on animal welfare that include introducing a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter, strengthening the Hunting Act and implementing a review of testing on animals.
The party is also proposing the appointment of a new animal-welfare commissioner to ensure government policy is informed by the latest scientific evidence on animal sentience and to safeguard animal welfare standards in new legislation and post-Brexit trade deals.
The draft policy document, Animal Welfare for the Many, Not the Few, suggests enshrining the principal of animal sentience in law, ending the government’s culling of badgers and introducing mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses.
The proposals, which will be put to a public consultation, also include the mandatory labelling of method of production and slaughter for all domestic and imported meat, the creation of post-Brexit farm subsidies to discourage factory farming and a total ban on imports of foie gras, which comes from force-fed ducks and geese.
Labour shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: “Labour is the party of animal welfare. From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals, Labour has always been consistent in our leadership on matters of animal welfare.
“Today we’re making proposals for real long-term progress. Our vision is one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding.
“With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights.”
Compassion in World Farming’s campaigns director Emma Slawinski said the draft could signal “the beginning of the end of cruel factory farming.”
She added: “We are thrilled by this announcement from the Labour Party, which would revolutionise conditions for British farm animals.”
Cruelty Free International’s Michelle Thew said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the proposals in the animal-welfare strategy announced today by Labour.
“We believe this is the very start of a journey that will finally put a stop to needless animal experiments in the UK.”
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