Target: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Clare Moriarty
Goal: Applaud abandonment of plans to alter animal welfare codes and privatize health and welfare standards in the poultry industry.
Recently, the United Kingdom government planned to deregulate the poultry industry. This would severely alter animal welfare codes and leave the control of the poultry industry in the hands of the British Poultry Council (BPC). This would, in essence, privatize all of the health and welfare codes regarding chickens and the handling of meat–a step backwards in ensuring the safety of the animal and the sanitation of the meat sold to consumers. Thanks to public outcry and petitions, including one launched here on ForceChange, that decision has been abandoned by the government.
This decision has been praised by animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming. Others think that codes need to be updated to coincide with advances in science. Despite implications, this can be done without privatizing the livestock industries. Certain hygiene standards have already been left in the hands of the poultry industry within the United Kingdom and have led to terrible results, which is proof enough they are not willing to properly manage safe standards.
Altering welfare codes would have begun with the poultry industry, but plans were also in place to do the same with sheep, cattle, and pigs. Those plans have also been abandoned. Many also claim that maintaining current welfare codes means that court cases against industry abuse stand a better chance of succeeding rather than being dismissed or tucked out of sight.
Sign our petition to applaud the decision to abandon this frightening course of action.
Dear Secretary Clare Moriarty,
I’m writing to thank the department for listening to the appeals of citizens and animal welfare groups in not altering animal welfare codes in regards to livestock. Many feared that deregulating the poultry industry would result in lower standards in both animal care and meat hygiene.
Visions of the meat industries during the Industrial Revolution and their many horrors have not been forgotten. Privatizing the industry comes very close to what it was like then, with little to no transparency and the concerns of the public shirked by what most benefited businesses.
Thank you for not allowing this to happen. Thank you for putting the welfare of animals and consumers above weak claims of updating standards. While codes should change to coincide with advancements in knowledge, those changes can just as easily be made with government-maintained welfare codes. Thank you for recognizing this as well.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: USAID Afghanistan