ANIMAL WELFARE: Farmers need an explanation

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With all her bluster about “the spread of misinformation” and “fake news,” MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has managed to skirt around the whole point of the EU’s Article 13 legislation on the treatment of animals as “Sentient beings” (Columnist, Northumberland Gazette, December 7).

The UK does indeed have high welfare standards, but the UKs Animal Welfare Act of 2006 is directed purely at individuals who own, or are responsible for animals in their care.

In contrast, the EUs Article 13 legislation is aimed at national governments, placing a duty on the state to pay full regard to animal welfare for a specific set of policies.

Ms Trevelyan represents a large number of farmers, most of whom are deeply concerned at the possibility of cheap meat imports from third countries where welfare – and environmental – standards are abysmal.

If there is no longer an obligation on the UK government to include such “Sentient being” considerations in trade deals involving imported meat products, how can it possibly expect UK farmers to work to a different set of standards and expect them to compete?

Her farming constituents need a clear explanation of her Government’s policy on this vital matter.

Aidan Harrison,