The policy document, Animal Welfare for the Many, Not the Few, has detailed the steps the UK should take to enshrine considerations of animal sentience into law once Britain leaves the EU.
The proposals would see a ban on the imports of foie gras, the introduction of mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses, and new guidance to end the treatment of farm animals with antibiotics for routine, preventative purposes.
BVA president John Fishwick said the organisation was delighted to see animal welfare high on the political agenda.
‘Animal welfare in policy-making’
“Animal welfare is at the heart of everything vets do and we have repeatedly called for measures to ensure there is a duty on government to have regard for animal welfare in policy-making,” said Fishwick.
“It is pleasing to see this, and a number of other animal welfare policies championed by BVA, reflected in the Labour Party’s Animal Welfare Plan.”
The BVA also supported the proposal for mandatory labelling of meat, particularly the method of slaughter for the animal – stun or non-stun.
Fishwick added: “We continue to lobby for a ban on non-stun slaughter but, while non-stunning is still permitted, we believe that any meat from these sources should be clearly labelled to enable consumers to make an informed choice about the food they eat.
“If we can achieve cross-party support for labelling of non-stun meat we will make significant progress in reducing demand, thereby reducing the number of animals suffering slaughter without stunning.”
Labour’s manifesto on animal welfare also called for subsidies to help food producers move away from intensive factory farming and bad environmental practices.
“We will continue to engage on the future of post-Brexit farm subsidies, particularly regarding the need to support animal health and welfare as public goods, and on the ongoing responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine,” said Fishwick.