A Tory MP has claimed improving animal welfare will be one of the major benefits of Brexit – just a day after a Tory clamp down on animal welfare groups run by the party’s own supporters was revealed.
Theresa Villiers, one of six cabinet ministers at the time of the EU referendum who backed Vote Leave, today highlighted the repatriation of powers over animal welfare standards as one of the biggest opportunities from leaving the EU. She told the Daily Politics:
“For the first time for example we’re going to regain control over animal welfare rules. We may well want to pass tougher rules than the EU ever permitted. That was certainly part of why I wanted to leave, because I believe it’s in our interest to take decisions on our own laws in our own Parliament, including on issues like animal welfare, where we in this country care very greatly about these matters.”
To her credit, Villiers led a Westminster Hall debate on “animal welfare standards in farming after the UK leaves the EU’ in January.
The MP won support from Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation (CAWF), who was in Parliament to hear the debate. The pair even posed for a photo.
Unfortunately the rest of the party haven’t got the message.
The Times reported only yesterday that the Tories have tried to distance themselves from two animal welfare groups.
Tory chairman Patrick McLoughlin wrote to CAWF and Conservatives Against Fox Hunting (CAFH), which is also run by Platt, to order them to stop using the party’s logo.
In a letter seen by the newspaper, he asked them to “withdraw their use of the party logo and limit their operations.”
That delighted Simon Hart, Tory MP Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, who earns a £30,000 a year second income as a “high net worth consultant” for the Countryside Alliance hunting lobby.
And Theresa May has not forgotten the Tory manifesto pledge to offer a free vote on repealing Labour’s hunting ban, according to the Telegraph.
Villiers claim also came less than 24 hours after a debate in Parliament over the effect of Brexit on chicken farmers.
Tory Farming Minister George Eustice heralded the big opportunities for British farmers from exporting chicken feet to China.
“It never ceases to amaze me that chicken feet are a delicacy in China and can attract a high value, far, far higher than they can get here in the UK,” he told MPs.
The Government already has powers over chicken farming and last year it proposed plans to completely abolish animal welfare standards in the sector.
So poultry evidence for Villiers’ claim…