At the Conservative Party Conference this week, Sir David spoke at the 'What’s the Beef? Why trade deals always become about animals' event hosted by Cavendish Advocacy.
Within this speech Sir David highlighted how the UK is at a turning point in its international trading relationships, with this posing both risks and opportunities for animal welfare. Regarding Brexit, Sir David accentuated how the UK is now able to diverge from European animal welfare standards. This allows the UK the ability to end many cruel practices such as the export of live animals and farrowing crates, which over the years has caused immense suffering to our animals. Thus, as the UK becomes unbound by the EU’s free trade laws, Sir David stated that we should look to go further and better in standards over animal welfare and lead the way internationally.
Sir David emphasised that outside of Europe, our outlook should remain the same: trade deals should require the other country to have the same or higher animal welfare standards as we do. In particular as we secure trade deals with countries such as Australia and the United States of America.
After the event Sir David commented:
"In 2019, I welcomed the Government’s commitment to improving animal welfare standards in several specific areas, including not compromising in trade deals. Several years later, as we begin to enter numerous free trade agreements, the Government must remain committed to this vision. I hope that the Government remains committed to improving animal welfare to ensure that we can continue to celebrate our long tradition of protecting animals in this country".