Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation Welcomes Call for Evidence on Labelling for Animal Welfare

If implemented, labelling will provide British consumers with clear information about the meat they purchase, which in turn enables them to make informed decisions about the type of products they buy.

LONDON, 13th September 2021

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF) has today welcomed the Government’s launch of a Call for Evidence on Labelling for Animal Welfare. The Call for Evidence will run until 6th December.

If implemented, labelling will provide British consumers with clear information about the meat they purchase, which in turn enables them to make informed decisions about the type of products they buy.

The Government is seeking information on labelling for animal welfare in the following key areas: 

  • How to define the welfare standards that underpin a labelling system;
  • How labelling could be regulated;
  • What a label might look like, including views on international examples;
  • What products could fall in scope of any labelling reform, and the differential impacts of this; and
  • How to monitor and enforce labelling for animal welfare.

The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation is calling for the Government to introduce a food labelling scheme which incorporates three key components:

  • Animal welfare labelling;
  • Methods of production labelling; and
  • Method of slaughter labelling.

As part of the announcement, the Rt Hon Victoria Prentis MP, Minister for Farming, Fisheries and Food, said: “As a nation we care enormously about animal welfare and increasingly about environmental standards. Consumer information and labelling are part of the toolbox that we have when it comes to creating a better food system for people and the planet. It is something that we will be considering in detail with industry and stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead.”

The CAWF report on labelling can be found here

The Government’s announcement of the Call for Evidence can be found here.

Lorraine Platt, Co-Founder of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, commented: “We believe that knowledge is a critical tool for consumers as they make decisions about which products they purchase. With the exception of whole eggs, there are currently no legal requirements to label products with information on how the animal was reared and slaughtered. But the fact is the British public do care about these conditions – over 80% of UK consumers are in favour of food labelling.

“Where labelling does currently exist, consumers have been able to identify higher welfare products and subsequently many farmers have been rewarded with increased demand. It is our hope that through extending labelling to all farmed produce, we can help the growth of higher welfare farms in the UK.”

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation Patron Sir Roger Gale MP commented:Brexit has presented us with the opportunity to reform our farming systems. Transparency with consumers must be at the heart of these reforms and implementing labelling for animal welfare represents a critical step forward. In doing so we can empower consumers to make informed decisions about which farming systems they want to support – or avoid supporting.

There is an overwhelming democratic mandate for such a move, with around eight in 10 British consumers stating animal welfare is an important consideration for them when shopping.”

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