Government plans to abolish statutory animal welfare codes and allow industry to devise and monitor its own regulations would have risked a return to the days when animal welfare standards were lax and food scares were rife.
I’m pleased the government has listened to concerns raised by the public and animal welfare organisations and dropped its plans.
This government has failed to keep the codes updated and wanted to wash its hands entirely of this responsibility, allowing industry to devise its own rules without them being debated in Parliament. Labour joined with consumers and animal welfare organisations to demand a government explanation in Parliament. Now the government says that it has dropped its plans and will keep animal welfare codes statutory. This is a victory for common sense. However, the government must still make the new guidance public before it comes into force to ensure any changes to the current standards can be debated in a transparent and accountable manner.