British Veterinary Association responds to Government’s new food labelling proposals

New Government proposals for fairer food labelling to provide greater transparency around the origin and methods of production of food have been welcomed by the British Veterinary Association.

Defra Secretary of State, Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP has announced a consultation with proposals to introduce fairer food labelling, which will enable consumers to make more informed choices, and give British farmers the recognition they deserve.

The consultation will look at how to make labelling on food products clearer and easier to understand, with views being sought on details such as a mandatory label that would differentiate between standards of animal welfare regulations.

Responding to the news, British Veterinary Association President Anna Judson, said: “The British Veterinary Association has long supported the principle that consumers have the right to understand where their food comes from and how it is produced so they can make informed choices. Clearer and fairer labelling is key to this. The proposals laid out by the Government seem like a positive step. We strongly support the proposal to instigate a label indicating tiers as the clearest and most meaningful way of communicating welfare standards with consumers and we look forward to engaging with the consultation on the detail. However, we are concerned by proposals to label products that fall below UK baseline animal welfare standards. All products in the UK are legally required to meet these standards, and we have been very clear that the UK Government must ensure trading partners meet these in all future trade deals. We urge the Government to take this into serious consideration when firming up the detail and to ensure it engages with the animal welfare sector and veterinary profession to ensure the UK maintains the high standard of animal welfare it is renowned for.”

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