UK: Ministerial Statement By Minister Gove – The EU Does Not Enforce The Rules, So The UK Will Improve Animal Welfare More, Post Brexit.

Photo – EoA (Netherlands)

There has been a lot of scaremongering here in England in recent weeks that the UK is not going to recognise animals as ‘sentient beings’ once the UK leaves the EU. 

Animals are defined as being ‘sentient’ by EU legislation, although with live exports from the EU to Turkey for example, as we have exposed many times on this site, the EU does nothing to enforce its own regulations about animal welfare.  As we have always said and often shown, EU laws really mean very little when it comes to protecting the rights of animals.

You may not believe us ? – so check these out for example:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/09/05/nl-the-situation-in-turkey-gets-no-better-in-fact-even-worse-blame-mr-van-goethem-and-his-in-effective-team-at-the-eu/

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/21/mr-van-goethem-and-eu-others-all-talk-and-no-action-a-real-head-in-the-sand-situation/

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/29/mr-van-goethem-resign-now/

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/17/uk-map-proves-uk-is-ready-to-wave-eu-goodbye-van-goethem-and-others-have-failed-the-animals/

Also, the UK has a very strong animal rights movement; and so it was (in our mind) unthinkable that animals would not be given protection once the UK leaves the EU.  As we said, there has been a lot of scaremongering by certain groups in the last few months that animals were going to lose their protection.  So we are very pleased to see that Minister Michael Gove MP has now clearly set out the governments position for animal welfare once the UK leaves the EU

As we have said in past posts on this site, leaving the EU will actually allow the UK to strengthen its legislation on animal welfare – the UK will take back legislative control of regulations which have never been enforced by the oh so wonderful(?) EU – and this will allow the UK to strengthen animal protection as it sees fit; and as constantly pressurised by the excellent campaign organisations that exist in the UK.

Will leaving the EU and taking back control of our own laws be better for animals ? – we very much think so. 

The EU has all the written legislation; it speaks the speak; but the reality is, when presented with the evidence by welfare organisations, the EU just turns the other way and says that there is nothing it can do; despite allegedly having all these rules in place in accordance with EU law !

When it comes to the EU protecting animals in accordance with EU Regulations; the whole thing is basically a joke.  The rules are not worth the paper they are written on.

So, EU based animal welfare organisations who have constantly been ignored with their evidence of cruelty and abuse for many years now have to watch and see how things progress in the UK –  which we will make sure they will. 

Already there are movements in place to ban live animal exports from the UK on the very first day that the UK formally leaves the EU.  EU member states have to decide if they want to continue presenting evidence to the EU – only then to be ignored  – or do they follow the UK and get out – thereby taking back control of their own national laws law and making sure that they, as individual member states, enforce their own national legislation ?. 

Time will tell; but the UK is leading the way on the issue of animal welfare.

 

(Minister) Michael Gove has set out the (UK) government’s position on animal sentience after we leave the EU in a Written Ministerial Statement

 

The sentience of animals WILL CONTINUE to be recognised and PROTECTIONS STRENGTHENED when we leave the EU, Environment Secretary Michael Gove confirmed today.

Mr Gove made a Written Ministerial Statement today. The full text is below.

Animal welfare – Michael Gove

This Government is committed to the very highest standards of animal welfare. As the Prime Minister has set out, we will make the United Kingdom a world leader in the care and protection of animals.

It has been suggested that the vote last week on New Clause 30 of the EU Withdrawal Bill somehow signalled a weakening in the protection of animals – that is wrong.

Voting against the amendment was not a vote against the idea that animals are sentient and feel pain – that is a misconception.

Ministers explained on the floor of the house that this Government’s policies on animal welfare are driven by our recognition that animals are indeed sentient beings and we are acting energetically to reduce the risk of harm to animals – whether on farms or in the wild. The vote against New Clause 30 was the rejection of a faulty amendment, which would not have achieved its stated aims of providing appropriate protection for animals.

The Prime Minister has made clear that we will strengthen our animal welfare rules. This government will ensure that any necessary changes required to UK law are made in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure animal sentience is recognised after we leave the EU. The Withdrawal Bill is not the right place to address this, however we are considering the right legislative vehicle.

We are already proposing primary legislation to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty from six months to five years, and the creation of a new statutory, independent body to uphold environmental standards.

The current EU instrument – Article 13 – has not delivered the progress we want to see. It does not have direct effect in law – in practice its effect is very unclear and it has failed to prevent practices across the EU which are cruel and painful to animals.

In contrast, here in the UK, we are improving animal welfare standards without EU input and beyond the scope of Article 13.

We are making CCTV mandatory in all slaughterhouses – a requirement which goes above and beyond any EU rule. We will consult on draft legislation to jail animal abusers for up to five years – more than almost every other European nation. We propose combatting elephant poaching with a ban on the ivory trade which is more comprehensive than anywhere else in Europe. Our ban on microbeads which harm marine animals has been welcomed by Greenpeace as “the strongest in the world”, and is certainly the strongest in Europe.

Once we have left the EU there is even more we could do. EU rules prevent us from restricting or banning the live export of animals for slaughter. EU rules also restrict us from cracking down on puppy smuggling or banning the import of puppies under 6 months. Article 13 has not stopped any of these practices – but leaving the EU gives us the chance to do much better. We hope to say more in these areas next year.

This government will continue to promote and enhance animal welfare, both now and after we have left the EU.

 

Above – Minister Michael Gove with Canine friend.

 

SAV Comment –

when we say ”the EU does nothing to enforce its own regulations about animal welfare” -this is evidence and proof of the situation,  evidence and proof which the EU conveniently on its part, turns a blind eye to.

From our good friend Lesley at ‘Eyes on Animals’ in the Netherlands:

This week Eyes on Animals was on German TV!

The famous German filmmaker, Manfred Karreman, made a powerful documentary about our year-long inspections of live animal transports from the EU to third countries and of the slaughterhouses where the animals end up in.

You can view the footage here –     **Warning** – animals suffering throughout.

https://www.zdf.de/dokumentation/37-grad/37-geheimsache-tiertransporte-100.html

 

 

 

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