Welfare of Farm Animals

Thank you for contacting me about the welfare of farm animals.

I take the welfare of all animals very seriously. The Government is committed to maintaining our world-leading farm animals welfare standards, and ministers will deliver a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

One of the ways in which the Government wishes to improve the welfare of farm animals is by strengthening protections against animal confinement. I know that the Government is actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including enriched cages for laying hens, farrowing crates for pigs and cages for breeding pheasants and partridges.

Further, the Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Pathway will prioritise areas for further improvement in the health and welfare for pigs, cattle, sheep and poultry. One of the Pathway’s priorities will be to support a transition away from enriched cages for laying hens.

More broadly, I am aware that ministers are taking action to improve the health and wellbeing of farm animals through the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which will ban exports of livestock and equines for slaughter and fattening.

Should any constituents have specific concerns about the welfare of an animal, please consider reporting this to the police or to the RSPCA.

I am passionate about protecting nature and wildlife and have continued to campaign to increase the coverage of protected landscapes on the Island. I am keen to explore options regarding abbatoir services on the Isle of Wight and have discussed possibilities with stakeholders. I am supportive of local suppliers and believe that we should support local producers wherever possible.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.