Carrie Symonds’ allies clash with Secretary of the Environment over schedule to ban caged animal farming

Carrie Symonds’ allies clash with Secretary of the Environment over schedule to ban caged animal farming

  • The argument was sparked by the desire of Lord Goldsmith and Victoria Prentis
  • But Environment Secretary George Eustice favors a more cautious approach
  • He says Britain already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world

Carrie Johnson’s allies clashed with Environment Secretary George Eustice over the schedule to ban caged animal husbandry.

The row was sparked by the desire of Environment Ministers Lord Goldsmith and Victoria Prentis – backed by the Prime Minister’s wife – to end the practice in the UK before it was banned across the country. EU.

But Mr Eustice favors a more cautious approach, arguing that Britain already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the ban would bring additional costs to farmers.

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, of which Lord Goldsmith and Mrs Johnson (pictured) are patrons, welcomed the EU’s proposal and renewed its calls for Britain to ‘end farm animal cages’

The EU announced last week that it intends to propose new legislation to end caged farming of animals, including rabbits, young chickens, ducks and geese by 2023 with a view to a progressive ban from 2027.

The move came after a petition calling for the ban attracted 1.4 million signatures.

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, of which Lord Goldsmith and Mrs Johnson are the patrons, welcomed the EU’s proposal and renewed its calls for Britain to “end cages for farm animals”. But Neil Parish, the Tory MP who chairs the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said British farmers “would likely face higher costs, which in turn would make them less expensive. competitive ”.

And Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union, warned: “If the UK government raises the bar here and does not take the same approach to import standards, we will simply bankrupt UK farmers.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and a strong track record for raising the bar when it comes to welfare measures, such as the ban on battery cages for laying hens, sow stalls and calf crates – and the introduction of video surveillance in all slaughterhouses in England. We are currently reviewing the evidence for the use of cages for farm animals.

Under EU law, cage farming of laying hens, sows and calves is already prohibited, although hens are allowed to be housed in “furnished” cage systems.

Mr Eustice favors a more cautious approach, arguing that Britain already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the ban would result in additional costs for farmers.

Mr Eustice favors a more cautious approach, saying Britain already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and the ban would result in additional costs for farmers.

A government source called Mr Eustice’s resistance “very reasonable”, adding: “Any change in animal welfare standards in the UK should be firmly based on evidence.” Legislating on the back of campaigns and petitions on Twitter is a guaranteed way to get a bad result. ‘

Raising the tension, the insider accused Lord Goldsmith of being ‘too motivated by social media’, adding: ‘If any of the animal rights organizations produced a petition, Zac would consider it a gospel every time “.

The row comes amid reports that government food czar Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain, will use the second part of his national food strategy to recommend that Britons massively reduce their consumption of meat to help preserve the environment.

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