Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Mark Williams, has spoken of his concerns over standards of animal welfare for imported meat coming into the UK were the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) to go ahead.
Speaking in a debate in the House of Commons yesterday, Mark Williams raised the difference in standards of animal welfare between the US and the UK, particularly regarding poultry farming.
As the TTIP negotiations progress, there is a concern that a number of serious risks to the UK poultry meat sector are emerging. Those risks are rooted in the different standards of poultry production on the two sides of the Atlantic, particularly standards in areas such as sustainability, food hygiene and antibiotic usage.
TTIP could bring opportunities to the food sector in the UK, but there is concern within the farming industry that these opportunities should not come at the expense of the great efforts that UK food businesses, particularly poultry meat producers, have made in the improvement of the sustainability, quality and standards of production here in the UK.
Commenting following the debate, Mark Williams said;
‘During the negotiations for TTIP the differing standards of food production, and the advances the UK have made to improve quality, production and sustainability in the UK should most certainly be taken into account.
‘If the US wishes to export its products, poultry or otherwise, to the UK produced to standards that are not equivalent to ours, TTIP risks providing it with the vehicle to do so. This has the potential to seriously affect the poultry industry in the UK, with a knock-on impact on jobs, receipts for the Treasury and UK food security. I hope this is considered seriously as part of the negotiations.’