Around 8/6/22 we wrote to our (UK) Member of Parliament (MP) expressing our concerns over the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and animal welfare issues. We had serious concerns over the UK animal standards being lowered down to Australian levels by this deal, especially with Australia still undertaking the mulesing of sheep, using up to 16 times as many antibiotics on Australian farms compared to those being used in the UK, and of course, the continuation of live animal exports from Australia to the Middle East.
You can read our letter of concern by clicking here:
We now have a letter returned to us dated 22/6/22 from Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP; the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade.
I am publishing the letter below for everyone to read if they wish.
Today is the 24/6; and I need to inform people that yesterday, the 23rd; the British government led by Boris Johnson, suffered 2 defeats in by elections in the South West of England and also in the North.
We at WAV are non politically biased; we just fight for the better treatment and welfare of living, sentient beings. These defeats though cannot simply be dismissed as a mid term ‘thing’ that happens in politics; many see this as something deeper, possibly a reflection of a government in crisis which is doing little and expecting the ‘normal working man (and woman)’ to pick up the tab.
Animal welfare deals included in the UK – Australia FTA are a concern to us here in the UK. Australia has lower standards, the UK has better. We are keen to read in Penny’s letter that things are still moving on to deliver the (UK) Governments Manifesto commitment to end the live export of live animals for both further fattening and slaughter. We are pleased to announce that despite the Bill not reaching law yet; live animals have not been exported to any degree (when compared to the past) for many months now. The Bill is working its way through both houses of Parliament in order to become law; and as we have campaigned against this sick business for nearly 35 years, we want to see action now !
The second page of Penny’s letter declares that the UK government has “secured ground breaking provisions on animal welfare with Australia, including the first stand alone animal welfare chapter in any signed FTA”. We welcome the comprehensive partnership with Australia to progress and improve animal welfare standards. These include a joint working group who will meet regularly to provide a forum to support cooperation on animal welfare issues between the UK and Australia, which includes best practices.
We also welcome and support the UK governments and Australian efforts to stop the use of sow stalls, which were banned in the UK in 1999, 23 years ago !, and the commitments for bilateral cooperation which will see this practice also being stopped in Australia.
I will leave you to read the response to us from Penny, outing the UK government approach to animal welfare ‘move forwards’ with Australia. If we can make more efforts to stop live exports, the mulesing of live sheep, get the pigs out of sow stalls, and make differences for caged animals in Australia, then we may be on the road to further progress.
Finally, the massive government defeats in the UK yesterday sent a clear message to government that the common man and woman are not happy; and that things need to change, or else we change you by electing a different government.
So, get on and pass the (UK) animal welfare legislation to give animals a voice.
Forever hopeful ! (and continually fighting);