John Baron MP: EU prevents animal welfare improvements

May 10, 2016

MP says British legislation more stringent than other EU members

Leaving the EU would allow Britain to ban the export of live lambs for slaughter to other EU member states. Each year, around 50,000 live lambs and sheep are exported from the UK, spending up to 28 hours in overcrowded lorries and often in sweltering conditions. Despite British attempts to stop this, the European Court has ruled that a ban on live animal export is illegal under EU rules enshrining free movement of goods, and has consequently fined local councils millions of pounds for trying to improve animal welfare.

John said,

“Animal welfare is very important, and Britain has some of the most stringent legislation in the EU to prevent unnecessary and avoidable suffering to our livestock. Unfortunately some EU members do not take the same approach, but EU laws prevent us from only exporting to those countries with similar animal welfare arrangements to our own.”

“This is another excellent example of how the EU stops us from applying sensible and reasonable measures, and is one more reason why I will be voting ‘out’ on 23rd June.”

Word Count: 195
Date: 10th May 2016

Notes to Editors:

• Stanley Johnson, a pro-EU campaigner and environmentalist, and father of Boris Johnson MP, told The Times, ‘on this issue [animal welfare], I agree with my son that Britain lacks the power to do things it might want to do’.
• In 2012, John led the Parliamentary campaign to get the Prime Minister to legislate in that Parliament for a referendum in this. He organised two letters to the Prime Minister, signed by 100 Conservative MPs, calling for referendum legislation to be placed on the Statute Book in the last Parliament for an in/out referendum in this Parliament. This helped persuade David Cameron to promise an in/out vote in his Bloomberg Speech in January 2013.
• John then tabled an amendment to the Queen’s Speech in May 2013, regretting the absence of referendum legislation in the Government’s agenda.
• Though the amendment was defeated, it was supported by 115 Conservative MPs. This persuaded the Prime Minister to go down the Private Member’s Bill route and, when this was twice defeated by Labour and Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians, to place it at the centre of the 2015 Conservative manifesto at the General Election.

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