ANIMAL WELFARE codes should be the responsibility of the Government and not left in the hands of producers, Labour has said.
Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, is to hand over the code on chicken farming to the poultry industry on April 27 as part of a wider deregulation agenda.
Ms Truss eventually plans for other livestock sectors to be goverened by ‘industry led’ guidelines.
However Kerry McCarthy MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary has written to the Defra Secretary concerned the proposals may weaken animal welfare standards and has called for a debate when Parliament returns from recess.
She said: “Abolishing statutory animal welfare codes flies in the face of common sense and risks a return to dangerous days in Britain when animal welfare standards were lax and food scares were rife. This Government has failed to keep the codes updated and now wants to wash its hands entirely of this responsibility.
“Labour is calling for an urgent debate to hold the Government accountable for this plan which could put animal welfare standards and consumer confidence at risk.”
Poultry farming is the biggest component of the British meat industry.