As the risk of a disorderly, ‘no deal’ Brexit rises, members of the Eurogroup for Animals Brexit & Animals Taskforce met in London to ensure that the welfare of animals would be safeguarded, whatever happens.
Despite warm words from EU leaders last week, the Brexit talks remain at an impasse over British access to the single market post Brexit, and over the issue of how to maintain an invisible border on the island of Ireland, whilst respecting the ‘red lines’ of both the British government and the EU 27 Member States.
With time running short, animal welfare organisations decided that efforts would be made by Eurogroup for Animals British member organisations to lobby for measures which would prevent animals suffering under the worst case scenario – no deal. British Member Organisations will now work to ensure that animals have sufficient feed and veterinary drugs, that key agencies (especially for animal testing) are replaced in time, that resting areas are established near British ports, that new Border Inspection Posts for specific animals (notably equines) are constructed, that enough veterinary professionals are retained, not least in British slaughterhouses.
Crucially, alongside these measures, the idea of a ‘common veterinary area’, which the European Commission has accepted in principle, will continue to be promoted. Even in the event of a no deal Brexit, creating such an area would help anchor the UK into the EU’s orbit for animal welfare standards (particularly in terms of agriculture), and would smooth the way for a new trading relationship between the UK and the EU once Britain has withdrawn from the Union.
Joe Moran, Political Adviser