Farm animal welfare code change proposals scrapped


Controversial plans to change farm animal welfare codes have been scrapped by the Government.

The Government had planned to replace statutory welfare codes with industry-led guidelines.

Charities including Peta, the Humane Society International and Compassion in World Farming wrote to the Government to oppose the plans.

Allowing the industry to "self-regulate" would risk lowering current standards because farmers would no longer be required to abide by the codes, they argued.

Opponents to the plans said the move would also potentially increase the risk of diseases and further overuse of antibiotics.

On Thursday, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs said the current system would remain in place.

A Defra spokesman told Peta: "In light of views raised, we have given the matter further consideration and believe we can achieve our objectives by retaining the existing statutory codes."

The British Poultry Council (BPC) was involved in the Government's consultation and said it was disappointed by the U-turn as livestock farmers would be left with "outdated welfare guidance".

BPC Chairman John Reed said: "By revoking its decision, Defra is walking away from an opportunity to ensure welfare guidance is kept up-to-date with the latest research using industry expertise."