Reality Check: Brexit and animal welfare

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The claim: Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove said in a recent tweet that the EU frustrates the UK from restricting live attempting to export swine, from censoring products which infringement the UK’s animal welfare standards and from tackling the exploitative trade in domestic domesticateds raised in brutal conditions.

There are three affirms in Mr Gove’s tweet – let’s take them one by one:

Exporting live animals

The EU sets a number of restrictions on exporting live animals for massacre or farther fattening, such as ensuring adequate infinite, and catering meat, sea and remainder, which all EU countries have to abide by. They were implemented in the UK in 2007.

Member countries are entitled to take stricter measures, if there is a desire to – the EU welfare standards are a minimum all countries have to follow.

If the UK wanted to introduced further restrictions on “animals ” exportations, it could do so while it is still in the EU.

But if it wanted to fully ban them, it would not allow him to do so in the current EU single market regulates.

Will the government restriction such exportations after Brexit?

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs( Defra) officials say they are considering all options.

Image copyright Getty Images

Even after the UK leaves the EU, a ban on the export of live animals could be challenged under The world trade organisation( WTO) rules.

Export bannings are prohibited by the WTO, but censors that keep endangered species and animal welfare, including guarantee that animals are not killed inhumanely, are countenanced. So, there is a basis for challenging a restriction under WTO, but there would also be a basis for protecting it.

There is a private member’s bill being put forward by Conservative MP Theresa Villiers that they are able to prohibition live exports “for carnage or fattening, and for connected purposes”, but it countenances little chance of becoming law without authority support.

Reality Check verdict: Mr Gove is wrong to say that the EU forecloses the UK from inhibiting the live attempting to export swine, but the rules of the single sell do foreclose the UK from censoring such exports altogether. If the UK were to implement its own banning after Brexit, that could be challenged at the World Trade Organization but it’s not clear what expected outcomes “wouldve been”.

Animal welfare standards

The EU has a wide range of animal welfare principles the UK has to abide by. These include consumer-information principle, such as the labelling of eggs from artillery hens.

It also regulates the use of swine in study, and it bans cosmetics tested on animals.

On top of these rules, individual countries can define their own animal welfare standards as long as they do not alter the operation of the EU’s single marketplace( in the UK, the issue is devolved ).

For example, the UK, as well as most other EU countries, has domestic legislation that vetoes production of foie gras on animal welfare soils.

Belgium, France, Hungary, Spain and Bulgaria do not proscribe the creation and for the purposes of the EU principle of free movement of goods, the UK is unable to ban the import of foie gras.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Foie gras is traditionally snack at Christmas in France

Would the UK government foist a foie gras ban after Brexit?

We don’t know – there has been no concrete overture on this.

Reality Check verdict: Mr Gove is right to say that commodities that do not are appropriate domestic welfare legislation cannot be banned in the UK while it is part of the EU’s single market.

If the government decided after Brexit to ban those makes, such policy decisions could be challenged at the WTO.

Exploitative trade in pets

Mr Gove says EU rules on the pet travel scheme restrict the UK’s ability to crack down on puppy smuggling.

The EU domesticated roam strategy facilitates the owners of puppies, cats and ferrets to move freely between EU countries with their domesticateds, providing their domesticated is micro-chipped, has a pet passport, has been injected against rabies and, in the case of pups, treated for tapeworm.

Pets have to be at least 15 weeks of age before they can tour, and person or persons can walk with up to five domesticateds.

Pet passports are issued by EU countries and a short list of non-eu countries such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

Read this for more on domesticated passports and Brexit


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