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Green MEP secures animal protections in European Brexit resolution

14 March 2018

“As the Green Party’s animals spokesperson, I am delighted to have helped secure protections in the resolution for the environment, climate change, food safety and animal health and welfare safeguards” – Keith Taylor MEP  


The European Parliament has today overwhelmingly approved a Resolution on the framework of the future relationship between the EU and UK, post-Brexit (544-110-51). This comes ahead of the negotiations on the long-term relationship, where the Parliament will have a final say.

The Resolution [1] clearly sets out the conditions that the Parliament needs to see in any final deal in order for MEPs to grant their approval. Crucially, thanks to the efforts of Keith Taylor MEP, Members of the European Parliament’s Animal Welfare Intergroup, and the Eurogroup for Animals, the Resolution contains strong provisions on animal welfare, namely:

  • A requirement for the UK to adhere to animal health and welfare rules (as a minimum) in order to create a level playing field;
  • that access to the EU market on agricultural products will be conditional on compliance with EU animal welfare standards, and;
  • that there should be adequate preparedness for agricultural products – ensuring that even in the event of ‘no deal’, there will be sufficient plans in place to ensure tractability and guarantee the origin of animal-based products to ensure compliance with animal welfare rules.

Welcoming the measures contained in the European Parliament’s Resolution today, Keith Taylor MEP, Vice President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup and the Green Party’s animals spokesperson, said:

“The resolution supported by the overwhelming majority of MEPs today will ensure that any future EU-UK relationship will provide a level playing field on issues such as workers’ rights, consumer protection, public health, the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, data protection and privacy and animal welfare standards.”

“As the Green Party’s animals spokesperson, I am delighted to have helped secure protections in the resolution for the environment, climate change, food safety, and animal health and welfare safeguards.”

The senior Green politician, who published an ‘Animals and Brexit’ impact assessment report earlier this month [2], added:

“The health and welfare of farmed animals in the UK is under threat, as my new ‘Animals and Brexit’ report makes crystal clear. Shockingly, Ministers have indicated a readiness to sacrifice farmed animals on the altar of free tradepost-Brexit. A move which is opposed by farmers, animal welfare advocates and the 93% of UK consumers who want to see vital EU safeguards maintained.”

“The clamour for the maintenance and strengthening of EU welfare protections in UK, however, appears to have had little effect on a Tory Government. The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, in particular, has been keen to brandish its willingness to make trade agreements with countries around the world that have far lower standards of animal welfare, and that threaten to undercut higher welfare producers in the UK.” 

“At the same time, EU citizens, who support higher animal welfare protections across the board, are clear they do not want European standards to be endangered or undermined in any way post-Brexit. This is why animal advocates from across Europe should welcome today’s resolution, which at the very least seeks to ensure that the EU standards will act as a basis for the future relationship’.”

Mr Taylor concluded:

“Compassion for animals is deep within the Green Party’s DNA. As an MEP, I have fought hard to include protecting animal welfare standards in today’s Brexit resolution. As the Greens animals spokesperson, I pledge to continue standing side by side with animal advocates and campaigners in the fight to protect animals post-Brexit.”

[1] www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=B8-2018-0135&language=EN

[2] https://www.scribd.com/document/372830758/Animals-and-Brexit-Keith-Taylor-MEP

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