Anne Main highlights the opportunities for improving animal welfare standards post-Brexit

15th November 2017

Anne Main looks forward to the UK having the ability to improve animal welfare standards post-Brexit, for example by stopping the export of live animals which the EU is currently preventing us from doing.

Does the hon. Lady agree that, once we have left, we will be able to increase our animal welfare standards—for example, by stopping the live transportation of horses and other animals, which we are currently forbidden to do—

What about the badgers?

The hon. Gentleman asks about badgers. I have actually been leading some of the campaigning against culling badgers. I hope that the hon. Lady agrees that we will have the ability to raise standards where we are currently forbidden to do so.

No one would be more delighted than me if we had the political will, which is as important as the political legalities, to make that happen. If there was the political will to secure higher animal welfare standards in this country, no one would be happier than me.

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The hon. Lady is making a valid point, but some of the EU’s principles are lower than ours. For example, it will not allow us to ban microbeads. We are very concerned about plastics in the water, so I look forward to being able to enhance our waterways by being able to ban microplastics.

I disagree with the hon. Lady. I do not think there is anything relating to the EU that is stopping us from banning microplastics. We have just done it, and in doing so we have demonstrated how the UK can show leadership. That is not just happening here in the UK. We have an influence we should be proud of, and we should be rather sad that we will probably lose it as a result of this whole process.

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