High animal health and welfare standards must not be compromised by future trade deals
Daniella Dos Santos, President of the BVA, has responded to Daniel Zeichner MP.
British farming is renowned for its high animal health and welfare standards and these must not be compromised by future trade deals. Our concerns are not based around an unfounded fear of ingesting chlorine but worries about lower welfare standards and public health.
As veterinary surgeons we strongly oppose importing food that has been raised in systems that are banned in the UK. Britain prides itself on its high standards, not least because we know this is what British consumers want and expect. A study by the University of Southampton in 2018 found that bacilli such as listeria and salmonella remain completely active after chlorine washing, demonstrating that there remains a public health concern despite the practice.
We work closely with the farming community to continually monitor and improve animal welfare. Importing cheaper food from countries that allow poor welfare seriously risks undermining British farming.