Critics of UK trade deal slam Australia’s decision to continue practice

“To some it will seem that Australia is being unscrupulous and negligent when it comes to animals for commercial advantage.

“And the fact that they’re trying to sweeten that up by saying it’s until 2036 gives the game – they hurt and Australia knows they hurt because what will be so different in 2037?” he said.

Anne McIntosh, a Tory counterpart and former member of the European Parliament, said the UK should have insisted on protecting chickens as part of its trade deal.

“UK producers and consumers place a high priority on animal welfare in food production,” the Baroness said.

“Therefore, it is very unfortunate that a free trade agreement has been sought between the UK and Australia which does not cover animal health and welfare of eggs and chicken,” he said. she declared.

National Farmers Union Cymru director John Mercer said Welsh farmers have been producing eggs without battery cages since 2012, with the European Union first voting to ban them at the turn of the century.

“Welsh farmers pride themselves on producing quality, affordable and sustainable food to the highest production standards,” he said.

“In the poultry sector, since 2012 the use of conventional cage systems in the UK has been banned and we have national legislation in place governing the welfare of our laying hens.

“Industry data shows that 89% of Welsh laying hens live in free-range systems and those in barns benefit from a variety of enrichments.”

World Animal Protection said Australia continues to lag behind in hen welfare behind the EU, New Zealand and some US states which have pledged to phase out cages from 2012 .

The new criticism comes amid a political row over animal welfare standards that has surfaced during the ongoing Tory leadership race between Liz Truss, who signed the UK’s first brand new trade deal. United after Brexit with Australia, and Rishi Sunak, who said the deal left UK farmers short-circuited.

Liz Truss, candidate for the leadership of the British Conservatives.Credit:Getty Images

UK Environment Secretary George Eustice said he had faced an uphill battle to convince Truss to reflect UK animal welfare standards in new trade deals and that was one of the main reasons why he supported Sunak.

“He has a position that I am much more comfortable with than what I suspect will be the position with Liz Truss, and that is the position on international trade: he has made it clear that we should not compromise on animal welfare standards,” Eustice said.

“It’s fair to say that I had some difficulty getting Liz Truss to recognize the importance of animal welfare in particular and that we should take this into account in trade agreements.”

On Friday, Sunak led a question-and-answer session known as “hustings” for rural voters organized by the National Farmers Union. Truss boycotted the event.

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