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US professor warns UK to maintain welfare standards
Vets play a key role as advocates for animals, even if this requires speaking uncomfortable truths.

Debate explores farm animal welfare post-Brexit 

An eminent US professor has warned the UK not to dilute its high animal welfare standards in order to secure trade deals with the US.

Jim Reynolds, professor of large animal medicine and welfare at the Western University of Health Sciences in California, was speaking during a debate at the Animal Welfare Foundation’s annual discussion forum in London.

Along with other speakers, he argued that vets play a key role as advocates for animals, even if this requires speaking uncomfortable truths about issues such as tail docking and beak trimming.

According to a report by Vet Record, he argued that US livestock vets do not speak out enough about animal welfare issues, and as a result, welfare is less consistent than the UK.

Mr Reynolds added that maintaining the UK’s current standards in any post-Brexit trade deals could help to pressure the US to change its own.

“Our system has changed over the years from a supply management system to a commodity-based system in which the profit margins are low … so America's looking desperately to export low-value products.

"That's how we make money. Keep your high-welfare, high-value products because that's something we can attain to. Our welfare programmes come from here (the UK) to us.”

However, he argued that while the UK had high welfare standards, the issue is confidence - whether animals are represented in all circumstances and whether assurance schemes took into account the lives of the animals. 

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.