Next Article in Journal
Do the Calls of a Bird, the Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala), Need Adjustment for Efficient Communication in Urban Anthropogenic Noise?
Previous Article in Journal
Insect Oil as An Alternative to Palm Oil and Poultry Fat in Broiler Chicken Nutrition
Open AccessArticle

Brexit and Animal Welfare Impact Assessment: Analysis of the Threats Brexit Poses to Animal Protection in the UK, EU and Internationally

Department of Politics and Society, University of Winchester, Winchester SO22 4NR, UK
Animals 2019, 9(3), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9030117
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 26 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animals in Public Policy, Politics and Society)
The British people voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union and the United Kingdom (UK) is set to leave the EU in 2019. Brexit is a major political change and it presents both threats and opportunities for animal protection. This paper assesses the threats that Brexit poses to animal protection in terms of five criteria. These are first, the political situation; second, regulatory changes; third, economic and trade factors; fourth, institutional considerations; and fifth, EU and international impacts. The EU has the most progressive animal welfare laws in the world. The UK Conservative Government, which is delivering Brexit, has a mixed record on animal protection. Brexit is forecast to have a negative impact on the UK economy, which is likely to negatively affect animal welfare. A major threat of Brexit is the import of meat and dairy products to the UK raised in lower welfare standards from nations such as the United States (US). The development of Brexit policy suggests there is a significant risk that this threat will materialise. Furthermore, Brexit will result in a reduced political lobby within the EU for progressive animal protection reform. Despite the UK being a progressive animal protection nation, she will have less power to exert this influence to improve animal welfare outside of the EU. Brexit poses substantial risks to weaken animal protection in the UK, EU and internationally. Further research is needed to assess the opportunities presented by Brexit to judge whether Brexit will be overall positive or negative for animal protection.
The British people voted in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union (EU). Brexit presents both threats and opportunities to animal protection in the United Kingdom (UK), EU and internationally. This paper discusses threats to animal protection in terms of five criteria. These are first, political context; second, regulatory changes; third, economic and trade factors; fourth, institutional and capacity-related factors; and fifth, EU and international considerations. The EU has the most progressive animal welfare laws in the world. The Conservative Government delivering Brexit has a mixed record on animal protection. Major time and resource constraints inherent in Brexit risk negatively impacting animal protection. Brexit is projected to have a negative economic impact, which is generally associated with lower animal welfare standards. The development of Brexit policy suggests there to be a substantial risk that the major threat of importing lower welfare products to the UK will materialise. Brexit will reduce the political influence of the progressive animal protection lobby in the EU. Post-Brexit, the politically and economically weakened EU and UK risks a detrimental impact on animal protection on an international scale. Brexit poses substantial threats to animal protection, with a high risk that many threats will materialise. Further research is needed to assess the opportunities presented by Brexit to judge whether Brexit will be overall positive or negative for animal protection. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal health; animal welfare; animal welfare impact assessment; animal protection policy; Brexit; Common Agricultural Policy; Conservative Party; European Union; Labour Party; World Trade Organisation animal health; animal welfare; animal welfare impact assessment; animal protection policy; Brexit; Common Agricultural Policy; Conservative Party; European Union; Labour Party; World Trade Organisation
MDPI and ACS Style

McCulloch, S.P. Brexit and Animal Welfare Impact Assessment: Analysis of the Threats Brexit Poses to Animal Protection in the UK, EU and Internationally. Animals 2019, 9, 117.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop