THE RSPCA is urging people across Worcestershire to lobby their local MPs to safeguard animal welfare post-Brexit.
Members of Parliament have the option to vote to ban lower welfare imports when the Agriculture Bill returns to the House of Commons for a crunch vote on Wednesday, October 7.
On September 22 the Lords voted through a crucial amendment to the Agriculture Bill to ban imports of products produced to a lower welfare standard than the UK by a 100 majority.
But as the Bill returns to the Commons the charity says a failure by MPs to support it will leave the UK facing a flood of imports such as chlorinated chicken, eggs from hens kept in barren battery cages, pork from pigs reared in sow stalls and hormone beef.
Those products are currently illegal in the UK because of the high welfare standards.
The Government made a manifesto promise to stop lower standard imports when the UK left the EU, but has failed to enshrine the promise in law.
Figures show 75 per cent of people in the West Midlands want lower standard imports to be banned post Brexit.
RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood said: “The Government must now honour its manifesto promise and back this amendment.
“If it doesn’t, MPs must vote with their conscience and reflect the strong feelings of the public.
“It’s a choice between protecting the UK’s globally-recognised high farm animal welfare standards or allowing in products like chlorinated chicken and hormone beef from abroad.”
He welcomed the vote in the Lords to stop the imports and hoped MPs would follow suit.
He warned a no deal Brexit – which was now looking more likely – could see the UK face a flood of imported food illegal in the UK.
Such a move, he said, would risk setting back animal welfare for many years ahead and threaten UK farmers’ livelihoods as they would be at risk of being undercut by imports produced to much lower welfare methods.
Tens of thousands of people have already signed a petition pressing the Government to act.
“We need MPs to realise how strongly the public feels about this issue and are urging people to contact their local MP to pressure them to support this law to stop lower welfare imports coming into the UK.”
Visit rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/farmanimals/ to sign the petition.