The UK’s government action plan for animal welfare has received criticism for not tackling factory farming.
The policy paper commits Britain to a slew of new measures to ‘improve the treatment’ of animals in the UK and abroad.
Animal welfare action plan
Recognizing animal sentience, banning the export of live animals, and exploring the end of fur and foie gras imports are all listed in the document.
However, Juliet Gellatley – founder and director of Viva! – says the government needs to do more for farmed animals.
In a statement sent to PBN, she said: “Momentum is building. Well done to everyone who has worked tirelessly to achieve the changes announced in the action plan.
“However, it saddens me to say that the reforms will do little to stop factory farming.
“The line that the government will be ‘examining the use of cages for poultry and farrowing crates for pigs’ is disappointing, to say the least. How many more years do they need to be ‘examined’? How many millions of animals will suffer whilst this happens?”
‘Make real change’
Gellatley also described the ban of live exports as ‘incredible news’ – but stressed it is ‘vital’ to ban the import of livestock. Last year, pigs valued at £70 million were imported from abroad.
She then concluded: “I’m really pleased by the measures that are being brought in for other species. But, I’m aware it does nothing to reduce the numbers of animals farmed and killed, or to end intensive farming.
“To make real change, we must continue to show consumers that veganism is the answer. The growth of veganism can significantly protect animals and our planet.”
The UK’s animal welfare action plan was published earlier this week by Environment Secretary George Eustice.
It states: “Since 2010 we have achieved remarkable things in animal welfare.
“On farms we introduced new regulations for minimum standards for meat chickens, banned the use of conventional battery cages for laying hens, and made CCTV mandatory in slaughterhouses in England…
“But we are going to go further. Our manifesto was clear that high standards of animal welfare are one of the hallmarks of a civilized society.
“We have a long tradition of protecting animals and that will continue – and we will continue to support such efforts overseas.”