Success: Plan to Repeal Animal Welfare Codes Abandoned

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Target: Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Goal: Praise abandonment of plan to repeal animal welfare codes in the animal agriculture industry.

The U.K. government has abandoned a controversial plan to repeal animal welfare codes in the agriculture industry. The plan sparked protests from numerous animal welfare activists, including a petition published on ForceChange, as it would have made the livestock industry self-regulating. This removal of current animal welfare standards would have greatly decreased the protections in place for farm animals, and would have had a severely negative impact on their health and well-being.

Had the plan gone ahead, animal welfare codes on the farming of chickens for meat and breeding would have been revoked to be replaced by new regulations drawn up by the British Poultry Council. These industry-driven standards would then be applied to other livestock industries such as cattle, sheep, and pigs. The lack of statutory codes would have allowed much more flexibility for the livestock industry to bend the rules, and the removal of governmental oversight would have made it easy for farm animals to be mistreated.

Rather than going through with this plan, the U.K.’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs listened to the concerns raised by animal welfare groups, and in doing so avoided a lowering of animal welfare standards while proving that speaking out can make a difference. Peter Stephenson, a member of Compassion in World Farming, said that he is “delighted, surprised and very, very pleased that the government has recognized the amount of damage that this would do.” Sign the petition below to applaud the U.K. government for making the right decision, and urge that animal welfare continues to be a priority in the livestock industry.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Ms. Truss,

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs recently decided to abandon a controversial plan to repeal animal welfare codes in the agriculture industry. This decision will keep valuable animal welfare standards in place and will ensure that animals in the farming industry will continue to receive governmental protection.

Had the animal welfare codes been repealed, the livestock industry would have been made self-regulating, with new regulations drawn up by the British Poultry Council. These industry-driven standards would then be applied to the cattle, sheep, and pig industries, and the lack of statutory codes would have greatly reduced the protection these animals receive. Without governmental oversight, farm animals could easily be mistreated.

We, the undersigned, thank you for listening to the protests of animal welfare groups such as Compassion in World Farming and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In doing so, you have ensured that farm animals will not be abused under industry-driven regulations. Please continue to work toward stronger animal welfare codes, and make the strengthening of animal welfare standards a priority.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Thunder Circus

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