Although the trade deal includes a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, the announcement paves the way for tariff-free imports from 2036 with no guarantee that Australia will need to meet UK animal welfare standards.
Commenting, BVA President James Russell said:
“BVA has always argued that removing trade barriers must go hand in hand with protecting the UK’s reputation for high animal welfare standards.
“While the phasing in of tariff-free access gives British agriculture time to adjust, there appears to be no mechanism to ensure Australia must use that time to meet an appropriate level of animal welfare standards in order to secure tariff-free access to the UK market.
“With these key questions remaining, we’re calling on the Government to spell out exactly how it will safeguard animal welfare standards as the UK steps out onto the global trading stage.”