Let’s have higher animal welfare standards

One of my many disappointments with our membership of the EU was the EU’s attitude towards animal welfare.

As an opponent of bull fighting, I thought it bad that farmland and farmers involved in rearing bulls for fighting attract payments under the CAP, even though they can claim there is no direct subsidy for bullfighting itself. 

As a lover of wild birds, I thought it unfortunate that the so called Wild Birds conservation Directive was also a hunting of wild birds directive, allowing countries to permit hunting a wide range of species that goes well beyond the permitted species like gamebirds  allowed in the UK.

As someone concerned about standards of farm rearing, I thought the EU unduly slow in responding to UK pressure to improve standards over veal crates and sow tethers. It has still left us with relatively low standards.

Worse still for the animals, the UK banned veal crates in 1990  but the EU failed to do until 16 years later. We banned sow tethers in 1998, with the EU resisting until 2013, 15 years later. These differences led to relative gains in market share serving price conscious customers to the continental industry at the expense of our farmers.

In the very vexed area of chicken breeding, the EU was again reluctant to improve the cage space for battery hens. It took until 2012 to get a ban on  the worst conditions.

I find the argument over chlorine washes misleading. The EU allows chlorine washes for items like bagged salad, which I never get complaints about, yet I get complaints about alleged chlorine washes for US chicken. Our water system relies on chlorine washes for hygiene in the pipe network, and medics advise that small traces of chlorine are  not harmful.

I am strongly in favour of proper labelling and explanations of how food is produced. It will always be the case that those with higher incomes will be able to afford the best welfare standards. There does need to be a minimum standard. The question we should ask is can we raise that standard a bit as we leave the EU, without making affected foods unrealistically expensive? I think we can. Those who think the EU guarantees high standards should look at this dreadful history of opposition to and delay of better standards to grab commercial advantage. All the time we were in the single market we have had years of being forced to take meat and eggs produced in cruel conditions we had banned at home.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Javelin
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    I would like tighter control of abattoirs.

    I speaking to a Farmer yesterday who knew exactly which were the bad abattoirs.

    I want to know which abattoirs use stunning correctly and which simply slit the animals throats and leave them to die in pain.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      While the UK was a member of the European Union, it could have ceased to opt out of its Union-wide ban on the slaughter methods that you describe, as countries such as Belgium and Denmark have done.

      It could simply have laid the responsibility for any difficulties caused by this at the door of the European Union, as it did for many things which weren’t even anything to do with it.

      Perhaps John could explain why his party’s governments did not?

      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Martin, What’s it got to do with the EU any more? Out of the EU we have the power to decide for ouselves to ban non-stun slaughter. Would you join in the campaign for that? Or would you shun it because such a campaign is “right wing”?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          Re read my comment and understand it.

          The European Union banned halal and kosher slaughter years ago.

          The UK opted out of that ban, like so much else.

          Why, just through having left then, would the UK change its view and introduce such a ban?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 9, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            Are you sure Martin?
            A quick search took me to
            “Legal Restrictions on Religious Slaughter in Europe-Library of Congress”
            Well worth a read.
            Some have a ban.
            Some ban but allow post cut stunning.
            Others like France Germany and Spain allow it under various regulations.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        I designed production and processing computer systems for abattoirs. I toured every abattoir to design exactly where to place scales and other data capture equipment. The only abattoirs I have ever actually walked out of were on the Continent. Of course in the EU they often just slaughter a pig or a lamb in the corner of a field rather than use an abattoir at all.
        Suffice to say that Martin is talking his usual crap!

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Are you denying that there is a European Union-wide ban on slaughter without pre-stunning, Lynn?

          And also denying that the UK opted out of that ban?

          If so, then it is you who is writing baloney.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 9, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            See above Martin

  2. Ian Culley
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Are you also supportive of proper labeling of how animals are slaughtered as well as how they are produced? It is high time that all religious slaughter was clearly identified so that the public can make an informed choice about what they buy.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      They Government should care, but as we see with the race riots , the British establishment are too frit to do anything about it

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        What ‘race riots’?

    • Peter
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink


    • a-tracy
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      How does ‘religious slaughter’ differ from abattoir slaughter and is it within British rules?

      • hefner
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        On the gov.uk website, look for ‘Halal and kosher slaughter’.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 4:01 am | Permalink

        The animal is conscious with its throat cut. We either stun or kill instantly so the animal does not suffer.

  3. Mark B
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I am glad our host is discussing this matter as both I and others here have raised this issue a number of times.

    The question we should ask is can we raise that standard a bit as we leave the EU, without making affected foods unrealistically expensive?

    The answer to that question is undoubtedly – yes we can ! And that can be done in a number of ways. Firstly the banning of religiously slaughtered animals. They must be humanly killed first.

    The second. The banning of all transports through UK territory of live animals. Animals for slaughter should be humanly dispatched at the country of origin.

    Thirdly. Any country wishing to export into to the UK market must concede to having its slaughter houses inspected by UK officials to meet with UK high standards. No inspection, no export license.

    Finally. All meat produce to be property regulated to prevent meat adulteration. Remember the scandal of 2011 ?


    The lax EU standards allowed this and we must guard against it by making sure that our standards are higher, and that penalties and bans can be made by the UK government in order to protect UK consumers and business. Under the EU this is very difficult. eg Dieselgate 😉

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      The abattoir in Todmorden, which supplied horse meat sold as beef was already breaking European union laws.

      However, the inspection and enforcement of those laws was a sovereign matter for national governments to organise.

      It doesn’t matter what rules a country introduces if it will not employ and pay the people necessary to do the inspection and enforcement to uphold them.

      There will always be criminals.

      • Adrian Ambroz
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        The rogue owner in Todmorden was fined £600 + £6K costs with the judge stressing he was not being punished for the wider & greater European scandal of horse meat found in British supermarkets suppled from a chain of traders involving French, Dutch, Cypriot & Romanian companies which had supplied over 700 tonnes of horse meat. The 2 French & 2 Dutch men involved in the Europe wide scandal faced up to 10 years in jail and a fine of €1m (£900,000). Which shows the vast difference compared to your example involving a British rogue owner.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes, it shows that Continental judges punish serious crime properly, unlike UK ones, apparently.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 10, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            It shows where the real criminal acts of adding horsemeat into proper beef products took place.

            The fine on the man you mention was for incomplete paperwork only.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        When politicians legislate for the impossible (we can trade very pork chop to its origin) to comply there must be criminality. Politicians should beware of demanding the impossible. The fake tracing often condemned an absolutely innocent and clean farm, and allowed the imported rubbish to pass as U.K. product.
        BTW I attended an Irish abattoir where I was shown boxed beef sold into intervention (ie bought by the EU using our money because it was surplus to requirements). One box was opened for me. The product was green and had maggots frozen on it. It must have been sold into intervention a number of times, out the back door and defrosted then in the front for cash again, and again, and again.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          I can give our host the names of those concerned and further evidence to prove the veracity of what I say.

    • jerry
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; So under your proposals it would be illegal for a ROI farmer to export live beef 10 miles over the Irish border to a slaughter house in Ni, or a French farmer in Arras region of Pas-de-Calais to send live beef the 100 miles to a slaughter house in the Dover area of Kent, but it would be legal for a Kent farmer in the Dover area to transport live beef 100+ miles to a slaughter house in Hampshire or say Hertfordshire?

      We need the return of local slaughter houses here in the UK, banned by a Labour knee-jerk in response to the 2000/1 Foot & Mouth outbreak, that also saw the mealy-mouthed take over MAFF and create the disaster that is DEFRA. As for the European Horse Meat scandal, that was a post rearing and slaughter issue, stop conflating issues/sectors.

    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Your third point – UK officials to inspect overseas abattoirs – sounds suspiciously like an attempt to impose UK laws and sovereignty on other countries. They would all, rightly, say no. Which will simply leave you with meat shortages and higher prices.

      I don’t eat meat so I don’t care if meat costs you more. I show my commitment to animal welfare but not actually eating animals.

      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Yet you keep saying we will have to accept EU rule in the end. So in your opinion it’s alright for the EU to impose its rules on us, but for the reverse “they would all, rightly, say no”? If you can’t see that’s silly it explains why you were on the losing side.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        So under your welfare arrangement, if adopted by us all, their would be no animals.

      • jerry
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        @Andy; The sort of inspections you say wont happen already take place for produce for the UK and EU27, were the supplier is outside of the EU – so why would any EU27 state or company object to what they already expect from others?…

    • jerry
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; “Dieselgate” was the result of ever higher standards that had no relationship to the real world, if anything that omni shambles is proof that a wish to over regulate fails.

      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, Just so – real engineers had to contend with impractical EU legislation.

    • Mark
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      If you want to guarantee the standards of slaughter then you need to ensure it happens here where we can supervise it. Banning all movement of livestock is quite impractical: around me, they get transported from one set of fields to another. Ensuring adequate transport standards is surely the point.

    Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    After this weekend’s epoch changing events in London it defies belief that you’ve decided to lead with an article about animal welfare. I suppose it reveals the modern mindset of the Conservative Party. It’s a mindset that’s brought us to this most disturbing point in British history

    We are lost if the Conservative Party capitulates once more to the thugs and refuse to purge the left from our public services

    • Nick
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, The likes of Boris Johnson do not perceive the burning injustice of the majority getting on with their jobs (where they can at the moment!) whilst the thugs and violent leftists smash and loot as the police are instructed to stand idly by.

      Every time the goverment fails to confront and stop these criminals makes it harder to do so next time; and makes it more likely that some of the silent majority will be so demoralised they will join in, or join vigilante groups. Current government policy is a disaster.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    In many areas the UK has always had higher and better standards, which were sacrificed to fit in with the EU.

    If we are to improve our standards on animal welfare, we also need to fully implement our own rules on animals being killed humanely.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

      Bryan, are you aware that there has been for some years, a European Union-wide ban on slaughter without pre-stunning?

      And that the UK opted out of that ban, thereby allowing for such slaughter for certain religious purposes?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        Looks like that EU ban was ignored in just about every EU country then… But the UK used to have better regulations on how animals were killed.

        Both the EU, and UK governments let us all down by signing the UN migrants treaties that led to this disregard for animal welfare

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          No, not in Belgium, in Denmark, in the regions of Italy which have local say over such things and elsewhere, Bryan.

          If I could find the complete list I’d post it.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile the Telegraph reports that the PM will jump-start economy with up to £6,000 incentives to switch to electric cars. This (I assume) is on top of the tax incentives (no tax on fuel, lower road tax, no congestion zone charging and parking advantages. Rather a repeat of the idiotic let’s force people to have to buy duff compact florescent lamps that wasted so many £billions. Or the EU pushing of diesel cars to save C02 which is now being reversed for air quality reasons. This will be a net damage the economy, it will not jump start it.

    When electric cars work and are practical and economic people will buy them without bribes extracted from other (often poorer) taxpayers. Encouraging people to dump their old cars to buy new electric ones will also increase C02 emmisions overall in the manufacture of these new expensive cars and batteries.

    R&D in better battery technology (better energy density, lighter, cheaper and faster charging makes sense) but bribing people to buy largely duff premature technology is idiotic, misguided and hugely wasteful. Plug in hybrids (that can do just the city bit on a battery alone say 30 miles with a small battery) surely make rather more sense for most people with current technology. Small batteries are so much cheaper and more environmenally friendly than the very large ones full electric cars need.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Lets be honest….the average joe doesn’t want an electric car

    • UK Qanon
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 1:18 am | Permalink

      LL – Fom where does the government propose the power required to charge these batteries emanate from – windmills? We have shutdown and demolished a lot of power stations that provided base load facilities. Hot ,still days in summer and everyone out on the road in their electric cars!!!!
      This climate change green crap is Madness utter madness. Trump did well to exit the USA from the Paris Climate Accord

      Boris, who is advising you???????????

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      It’s so disappointing that Boris has fallen for this CC scam, hook line and everything else

  7. BeebTax
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Be careful what you wish for. A lot of unwelcome regulation could come in, under the guise of “raising standards”. The animal rights activists’ view of a better standard may not be shared by the majority of people when they realise the impact on their living standards.

    As for protecting wild birds, we have very strong legislation here already. Looking out of my window yesterday, the nesting Herring gulls on my neighbour’s roof were attacking a passer-by. These birds, never common here, are now ubiquitous, urban, and protected by legislation. No one in government is prepared to suggest we review their protected status. Before bringing in more regulation, we should critically examine the existing regime.

  8. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Over the years of our involvement with the EU it has been the UK that has consistently been forced into accepting lower standards and practices than we would naturally accept for ourselves alone.

    While the left wing media is quick to condemn the US and others, the neglect to reflect they are on the whole more advanced in their thinking on what they consume.

    There are those left leaning London centric luvies that believe that supermarkets such as Wholefood Market, with their high ethos of standards are a UK phenomenon when in reality they are an extension of what to expect in the US.

    It is a mistake to think the EU protects standards, ethics or citizens. It is simply a protectionist cabal to keep the nasty foreigner out. To enable the internal industry to operate without competition or having to deal with the free market.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    There does seem to be growing evidence that smokers are statistically much less likely to catch this virus as reported by Rod Liddle. It this the nicotine or perhaps the tar and other gunge in the lungs of smokers that kills or deters the virus multipying? Should non smokers now wear niccotine patches for a while? Some evidence it can help with slimming too.

    Perhaps Trump’s clumsy “disinfectant” suggestions were not as daft as they may have seemed?

    Liddle has some excellent suggestions for the new BBC director general yesterday too – in the Sunday Times.

  10. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Plus there’s the CAP payments for racehorse farms. Why should payments from the public purse intended for farming go to the gambling industry?

  11. Nutrient Dense
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Agreed. Factory farming animals is cruel as is feeding cows an unnatural and unhealthy diet of grain. Cows eat grass and we are blessed with abundant pasture in the UK which also acts as a carbon sink. Get our cows out of sheds and onto pasture and stop growing grain to feed them.

  12. Javelin
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Dentists open today – why not hairdressers?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      No problem, my younger daughter does mine just fine – in about five minutes flat, saving me about £80 PA and quite a bit of time too.

  13. Nivek (aka Kevin)
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    To be clear, Mr. Hardcastle’s criticism was that Mr. Johnson failed to cut short the family holiday immediately, returning “only when matters began to get out of hand on Monday”.

  14. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    What do you think of what is said to be 500 companies predominantly foreign owned companies taking the UK taxpayer/government to court over the curfew being brought in to protect the UK people from absorbing any more of the Corona Virus.

    It is noticeable that while these companies collectively employ a lot of people in the UK which is a concern, they predominantly avoid contributing to the health, wealth and security of the UK on an equal basis to our indigenous businesses. They choose to take the attitude of grab the money, drain the wealth created in the UK and run.

    Again its an illustration the UK taxpayer playing patsy to those that just take, leaving those that play ball and contribute to fund their growth.

    We have an unequal tax system that penalizes the small guy to the benefit of the freeloaders that just get a way with it due to their perceived size

  15. Andy
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    It is wonderful that you want higher animal welfare standards. Very admirable.

    And while you can help change animal welfare standards here your role does not extend to trade deals.

    Plans to give MPs a proper say on trade deals were dropped last October – shortly before Mr Johnson took back control.

    So when unelected bureaucrat David Frost comes back with a rubbish deal with the EU and when Liz Truss comes back with a rubbish deal from the US allowing us to be flooded with Frankenstein foods our elected MPs cannot stop those deals.

    Interestingly the undemocratic European Union gives its MEPs a proper vote on trade deals.
    Meaning voters in every other EU country get more of a say in a post Brexit EU-UK trade deal than we do.

    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Chlorinated chicken is not chicken washed in water.

      In the US many chickens are reared in unhygienic conditions – conditions we would consider cruel.

      Because the birds are kept in poor and cruel conditions, microbes and germs spread.

      This means after the birds are killed their skins have to injected with chlorine to kill the germs.

      Our chickens are reared in hygienic conditions so do not need this done to them because they are not covered in germs.

      If Tory MPs want to allow chlorinated chicken into our country – and many do – they should ask the electorate. It has not been in any manifesto and voters have not had their say.

      The Tories are too gutless to ask voters because they know they will lose. Some want to plough on anyway because they have financial interests in the American chlorinated chicken industry.

      Reply Name a Tory MO who has advocated this

      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Your ignorance is truly astounding. Pathogens are everywhere – in the air, in seawater, in drinking water (though controlled by chlorine), and certainly on EU chickens.

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Export of live animals is another example.

    The debate about chlorine-washed chicken is nothing to do with the chlorine-washing itself. It is that USA standards for keeping poultry are worse than ours, they permit overcrowding, and the chlorine-washing is to control the resulting salmonella. However, we import food from all sorts of countries with lower welfare standards than ourselves (including the EU as you note) so that should not be a problem – all the people complaining about chlorine-washing would eat chicken if they were on holiday in USA. It is just another Remainer argument.

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Off topic, but the civil disturbances in Bristol that Andy predicted have finally happened. But not because young people are furious about leaving the EU, rather that young people see the UK as a merely a satellite of the USA which is where they get all their culture and political beliefs from – they couldn’t care less about what is happening in EU countries. Given that I suggest we push ahead immediately with a close trade agreement with the USA to keep them happy,

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      The toppling of the Colston statue is not an attack on history.

      It IS history.

      (With acknowledgements).

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Your comments have made me feel sad, when I saw them pulling down that statue I felt as though part of our British soul had disappeared, we are weaker as a nation not because of what they did but because it was done under ‘mob-rule’

        We are no longer a green and pleasant land

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

          The land is far more pleasant, for the pulling down of that monument, to a trader in death and unspeakable suffering, I think.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Bit at least if the statue is there and children ask about it we can explain.

      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Are you going to condemn the criminality of those demonstrators? Or is your bias so bad you only criticise “right wing” demonstrators – like peaceful pro-Brexit people?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          No, not in this case.


    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t predict there would be riots in Bristol. Bristol Council did. You laughed. Turned out they were right and you were not.

      Incidentally we also said Brexit would mean shortages. We left the EU at the end of January and had shortages of toilet roll and flour by the end of March. We said when we left the EU jobs would go. And, gosh, how right were we? We said the economy would suffer. And in the first two quarter since leaving the EU we are about to have the worst collapse in 300 years.

      I told you Brexit would cause deaths. You laughed. I expected a handful of death there have been thousands and thousands. Because the Johnson Cummings government was so busy with Brexit it ignored Coronavirus.

      Looks like I have been right a lot. And you have not.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        Are you mixing up the Covid pandemic crisis effects with Brexit?
        Surely not.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Police said a “tactical decision” was taken by officers at the protest not to intervene as people pulled the statue down.
      Supt Andy Bennett said although he was “disappointed, he did understand” as the statue had caused “a lot of angst” for the city’s black community.

      Source – BBC website

      The Home Secretary should be asking for resignations

  18. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The EU is run for the benefit of France and Germany. Always has , always will.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it is.

      And for that of the other twenty-five nations too.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Tell that to the Greeks, Italians & Spanish youth who have 25% unemployment.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink


      • Nick
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Like Greece and Italy?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Every Greek will completely agree.

  19. Peter
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    A more proactive approach than simply trying to mollify the chlorine chicken brigade.

  20. Peter
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile AnarchoTyranny rules in Bristol and London.

    Plod simply stands and watches as crime takes place. Otherwise they run away.

    However, they can always find a Common Purpose type to act as their spokesman and spout predictable nonsense.

    Police are now completely soft, as was intentionally planned from the top down.

  21. Richard1
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Label the food properly and let the consumer choose. The nonsense about US food is yet more disguised protectionism and attempts to de-rail an independent trade policy.

  22. Adam
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Message to EU lawmakers:

    You lack the taste of human decency.
    If animals bite you, you would not like it.
    If animals ate EU, EU members would want higher standards for themselves.
    Waste becomes left behind, excreted out of existence.
    Growing better should come out of it.

  23. Jiminyjim
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Excellent fact-filled article, Sir John. I wonder if we’ll hear a peep out of Andy today, in view of his statement that it’s a fact that the EU has high animal welfare standards. He has obviously never been onto a European farm, despite his claim to have lived in Europe. Outside the UK, animal welfare is not even an issue. Foie gras, anyone?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Well said. Can’t imagine anything more cruel.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      The UK is part of Europe, so Andy does live in Europe. 😉

  24. acorn
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    It’s a funny old world. The squeamish British pamper their pets while our Asian (non-EU) trading partners, have a thriving Dog Meat trade that JR forgot to mention.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the British are sometimes strange.

      They often treat their pets as humans and their children as pets.

  25. NickC
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The purpose of the “chlorine wash” is not to wash the chicken but to cool the carcass after slaughter. The cooling takes place in tanks of running cold water.

    Quick cooling is critical in preventing the development of pathogens always present in the air and on the chickens in both the USA and the EU. Cooling of chicken carcasses in the EU is achieved by cold air blast.

    Some chicken slaughter plants in the USA use air blast instead, as in the EU. I can see no reason why the UK cannot stipulate our own food processing protocols as conditional on any trade deal. And unlike the vindictive EU, the USA won’t hold up an entire RTA for a few trivial issues like this.

  26. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Very disappointed that you have not addressed the policing of the riots over the weekend Sir John.

    With the establishment scared to comment because of the association with race now is the time to allow the majority their say.

    The protests were unwarranted and the riots despicable. Criminal damage to statues, condoned by police. The law of the land should apply to everyone I thought, after the fuss made about a 260 mile drive. Hypocrites each and every one.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:10 pm | Permalink


  27. Everhopeful
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    If anyone actually gives a tinker’s cuss about animals and their feelings:
    “ Oh dear, we can’t do that..people might think us fuddy duddy old spoilsports. But we’re NOT! Look how liberal our statue tearing down policy is!!

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    The best way to improve animal welfare is to reduce the price of animals on the market subject to good husbandry.

    Extol the taste virtues and reduce the price. The market will decide, and if an organic, well cared for chicken costs twice the price difficult choices have to be made.

  29. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Agree, if we can get simple proper and honest labelling on food products, which also shows Country of origin, then the customer can then choose what or what not to purchase.

    Let us also have a minimum size for print on such labels, so we do not need a magnifying glass to read it.

  30. Irene
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Salad leaves washed in chlorine are dried, and bagged in a surrounding of a gas used to extend the shelf-life from a couple of days to 10 days or so, losing nutrients along the way. Washing salad leaves at home also results in a slight loss of nutrients. The fact that we disinfect our water supplies is a red herring. We use disinfectant and other chemicals to clean our toilets.

    Salad crops will not grow if too densely packed – spacing is crucial to survival. Poultry in the US is reared in densely crowded conditions – something that we have moved away from in the UK, for animal welfare reasons and also to ensure quality of the end product. Chlorine washing of poultry is to kill off as many bacteria as possible, although some bacteria may still remain dormant even after washing, rearing its ugly head again during cooking and if served under-cooked.

    It may be all to do with the concentration of chemicals. Do you know the concentration of chlorine used in our water supplies v. the concentration used to wash chickens? You can buy a chicken for £2 a kg in the supermarket; more like £6 a kg for free range. Do we need to import chicken from the US at a cheaper shelf price, if it has been reared in conditions that we would not tolerate in our own industry?

    We must retain and enhance our high standards of production. Same applies to other meats. Why would you want to eat hormone-fed beef?


    • Edward2
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Just label it and let people choose.
      It is all safe.

  31. Caterpillar
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Aside- I was disappointed to see the defacing of Churchill’s statue. Irrespective of the man prior to 1940, it is widely recognised that he was indispensable in keeping the UK in the war and not suing for peace with Hitler. Without Churchill the world would be a very different place, and those so-called protesters should be reminded of this.

    Whilst on this aside, the Colston statue prank yesterday did make me reflect on Dominic’s recent posts relating to the sinister (was this punning?) aspects of the left. The use of race issues has become much more than a wish to solve actual problems. In March last year the compromise replacement plaque on the Colston statue to mention both the philanthropy and the transportation of slaves was stopped by Bristol’s Mayor seemingly preferring an option that must include Colston’s later roll as a Tory M.P – the association must be made. Also in March last year was the influential Dr Kehinde Andrews of Birmingjam City University with the statement on the Ian Dale show ” There’s no place for Tories in black activism.” The behaviour is of course the same in the USA, a few days ago Sir John reminded us of the association made by Biden “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”. I think the way the left is amplifying stereotyped division is increasing, and is concerning.

  32. acorn
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Further to my food comment yesterday. Like UK assembled Cars, UK assembled food products contain a lot of imported components without which domestic production would stop. Worth having a read of https://ec.europa.eu/info/food-farming-fisheries/farming/eu-agriculture-and-brexit_en Even if nothing else is agreed, the Agri-Food supply chain should be.

  33. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The Daily Mail is terribly worried about American farming. I have been, in my long life, twice to America. Never once did I have any sort of tummy problems. Unlike that time in Morocco… Or rushing home in Spain… Or watching my Mother in law throw up on the pavement in France… Or my wife’s story about (food ed) in Moscow…

    I can see that we will drift into the arms of USA when we gain full independence. And that will mean radical change. But – hey – better than decaying Europe or racist China.

  34. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The European Union only ever set minimum standards.

    There was never, ever, anything whatsoever, preventing its member nations from setting higher ones.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Everyone only ever sets minimum standards!

  35. Len Peel
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    So your argument is that as a member of the EU we had higher standards than the EU, but that now we have left the EU we can have higher standards than the EU. I see …

    • Edward2
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      It will be up to us.
      And the people we directly elect.

  36. BJC
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I really struggle to find any redeeming qualities with the EU middleman where every disclosure tells me it’s simply not fit for purpose; in fact, I don’t think the EU even knows its purpose.

    Perhaps, if EUrocrats learned to focus their energies on objectives that improved lives, including top-notch animal welfare, instead of enforcing the inflexible administrative processes designed as a route map towards a federal Europe, they’d be rather more successful. No offence meant, but it’s rather like watching a house burn to a shell because the Chief Fire Officer’s focus is the shiny new fire engine, not the sub-standard hoses fitted to it.

  37. Walt
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I would like to raise the standards for human animals. This morning the press is full of stories about demonstrations, mobs and thuggish behaviour; pictures of public statues torn down and defaced, the latter including the Churchill memorial in London, whilst police stood by without intervening. Why? Why allow this behaviour and do nothing to stop it?

    • steve
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      “Why? Why allow this behaviour and do nothing to stop it?”

      Political Correctness is why.

      If the demonstrators were right wing it would have been stopped.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 1:33 am | Permalink

      In many instances the MSM and others refer to humans involved in riotous behaviour or other similar activities as acting like animals. The reference to animals is a misnomer as animals do not behave like that. Only humans behave in that fashion.

  38. Ed M
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    What on earth is the point of quarantining foreigners? Just seems bonkers. What’s the reasoning behind it?

    You let some people into this country (i.e. from Australia, Austria, Germany etc – with low rates of Covid) and let them travel around freely and then you completely ban others (except for people in business for which they can get a quick and easy visa – but enough of an impediment to put off people just trying to come for casual tourism) until the rates of Covid in these other countries have come down.

    How an earth do you police quarantine anyway? Police got enough on their hands.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Quarantining foreigners from places like Australia, Germany and Austria (with low Covid rates) isn’t just bad for tourism but for business and the economy as well.

      What’s going on? Am I missing something?

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Nobody is “being quarantined”.

        They are being asked to quarantine themselves, it appears.

        So that’s fine then.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

          On pain of £1000 fine if they don’t.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            Plenty will take that chance.

  39. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    We must have better controls at abbatoirs. It is not right that animals are suffering and we have all seen the footage of the cruelty that goes on in them. There is one in Wales that is featured a fair bit. It’s simply not acceptable that an animal has to go through this simply to feed us. We must improve. I am sickened by much of what goes on in Europe still. They are still living in the dark ages where animal welfare is concerned. Let’s eat more of what is grown at home so that animals do not have to travel long distances. I read in one of the newspapers this week that meat grown in areas of the Amazon which have been illegally cut down have been found on sale in our supermarkets. Not acceptable at all. There are also too many chicken farms popping up in our area. They ensure chickens have an abysmal life and the smell coming from them is not very pleasant for nearby neighbours either. No animal should live its life cooped up in a cage be it a pig, chicken or cow. And please can we stop religious killings. We are in the 21st century and Christians not heathens.

  40. Iago
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Extremely informative, thank you.

  41. JM
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I think that there is a lot of hypocrisy about chlorine washed chicken, which is in fact all about not liking that nasty Mr Trump. We have stopped buying chicken from a particular supermarket. Too many chicken legs were broken, which did not happen in the slaughter process. If people are concerned about animal welfare they should question how that happens and the speed and conditions in which chickens are reared for the table in this country.

  42. Will in Hampshire
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    “I am strongly in favour of proper labelling and explanations of how food is produced. ”

    This is good to hear. I hope that our host will use his best efforts to ensure that the government adopts this as a “red-line” in its negotiations with the USA on trade.

    • czerwonadupa
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      A red line for the USA & presumably a green line for everyone else??

  43. John E
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think people voted to take back control in order to immediately surrender it to the US but it seems I was wrong.

    • steve
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      If we have to be under any control, better the US than the french – led ungrateful EU.

  44. Bob
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    In addition to higher standards for farm animals I would like to suggest that people wishing to own pets should need to apply for a licence, and anyone with a history of cruelty or violence should be refused such a licence.

    The money raised from licence sales could be partially used to fund animal charities which would be listed on the application form and the purchaser could tick the charity they wish to support. Anyone found mistreating their pets should have their licence and pet removed and re-homed and the re-homing costs could be covered by additional payments from the licence fees fund.

  45. glen cullen
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Sunday 7th June – 77 deaths….tell me again why the whole of the UK is in economic lockdown

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Monday 8th June – 55 deaths …..still under economic lockdown ?

  46. Original Chris
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    One of the greatest welfare disgraces is the live export business.

  47. Norman
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I am fully with Sir John’s balanced assessment on farm animal welfare, which was a key area of my work for many years.
    On the question of religious slaughter, this is an emotive area where there are many misconceptions, as most people have never been inside an abattoir, nor have had to kill anything, but I can assure you it is not as you describe.
    All methods entail involuntary movements that could lead you to think otherwise.
    In the current climate, we have to beware of those with misguided agendas.
    “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” Proverbs 12:10.

  48. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Excellent piece – an area never admitted by Remainiacs and for all the BBC nature programmes I cannot recall any such condemnation.

  49. ukretired123
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    We noticed the French stake out large open fields by surrounding deer etc in groups encircling them with shotguns. They also have nets to trap small migrating birds for eating. Their culture on force feeding is well known. The burning live sheep in transportation should have put a stop to cruel practices.

    I agree with others that all animals so vulnerable as they certainly are to abuse deserve to be respected!

    Live transportation should be wound down which is why vegans are so popular today and on the rise.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      We sat in a Spanish restaurant and watched whole a party of undesirabless pick through plates of blackbirds and other small birds caught on their migratory flights back to the UK. They were offered to us which we declined to eat.

  50. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    sorry about the last sentence … computer problems.

    • M Brandreth- Jones
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      John where is the piece which this is attached to . It looks “pithy”

  51. Ed M
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Why is Kit Malthouse making such a big deal of the statue in Bristol?

    What is he defending / standing up for? A man who was a slaver trader whose statue was knocked down in response to anti-racist protesters?

    Get over it. I am a Tory, and we should be focused on building up Bristol as a great centre of commerce. It’s got so much potential. Focus on some of its great people from the past. Turn Bristol into a kind of mini Berlin where’s it’s a ‘cool’ place to set up a business – in the creative and tech industries for example.

    Knocking down the statue, Che-Guevara fashion, only adds to the ‘coolness’ of Bristol. I only say all this as someone whose worked in Advertising Account Planning / Branding.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      ‘Knocking down the statue, Che-Guevara fashion, only adds to the ‘coolness’ of Bristol’

      – Of course, if it had been another statue, and knocked down out of 100% pure thuggery / vandalism, then that would just be stupid, daft, not cool at all. But this was a statue to a slave trader. And the people who knocked it down were angry anti-racist protesters. Completely different 100% pure thuggery / vandalism.

      The statue should have been pulled down years ago – for the sake of Brand Bristol and culture / tourism / economy. The protesters have actually done Bristol a favour – at least in terms of Brand Bristol and its local economy.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        Reminds me of the communist practice of filtering out people from photographs after they had eliminated them

        • Ed M
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          Who cares if it helps the brand image and so economy of Bristol? And the statue was of a slaver trader not of British heroes like Winston Churchill, Sir Francis Chichester, Jane Austen. To make a big deal of this is pure ideogically thinking instead of being creative and opportunistic about it in a branding / business sense.

      • steve
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        “And the people who knocked it down were angry anti-racist protesters.”

        Oh so that makes it ok then does it ?

        • Ed M
          Posted June 9, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          The pulling down of the slave-trader by anti-rascist will make Bristol more ‘cool’ – like the the ‘cool’ factor of Berlin attracting more creative and tech industries to the place. They’ve unintentionally perhaps done Brand Bristol and its economy a favour.

          Boris, Dom C and Gove all get this I’m sure but in particular Tories in business who work with people in advertising and branding.

    • Ed M
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Also, the real crime of the protesters was coming, close together, risking raising levels of the coronvirus – that affects everyone including their own families and friends – especially in London.

  52. Ed M
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Tories like Priti and Kit appear to have no idea about business / branding / marketing. They come across just now as box-tickers / bureaucrats who just happen to work for The Conservative Party.

    And if they want to get up on their high horses about justice, there are lots far more serious injustices out there in this country, than a statue of a slave-trader being pulled down ..

  53. Ed M
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I think some a / a lot of people in Dublin regretted the pulling-down of the famous statue of Admiral Nelson (James Joyce, WB Yeats, Oliver St. John Gogarty etc). Whatever some British did in Ireland, Nelson was an innocent party to the place. And was a hero in his own right, whichever nation he had belonged to.

    But the guy in Bristol was a slave-owner. No comparison.

    • steve
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      “But the guy in Bristol was a slave-owner”

      and your point is ?

      • Ed M
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        I won’t make any point again then. Sorry I spoke.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      British Abolition of Slavery Act 1833, Slave Trade Act 1807. Nelson died 1805. Presumably he was part of a Royal Navy that protected trade routes for slave ships?

      I think this shows it’s problematic to single out individuals for approbation, when the whole society benefited economically from the slave trade, and so many were connected to it in one way or another.

      • Ed M
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        Arghh, I am NOT a protester! I’m just saying this could help Bristol’s brand image and so economy.

        I’m looking at this from a branding / business POV – how this could help improve Bristol’s brand image and so economy. People who work in business and with people in advertising / branding will get the point I am making.

  54. RichardM
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    The problem is not the consumption chlorine, its why its used, as you well know. Quite why you yet again compare animal welfare with chrorine washed salads is quite absurd.
    We have mostly dragged the rest of EU up to our standards, and are now regressing by permitting animals raised to standards which we would consider illegal in this country into our food chain.
    The US will force us to remove any labels with information on origin, and how it is produced.
    This is a classic example of the loss of our sovereignty caused by Brexit.

  55. Testing and Trace
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    American news networks say “The protesters are now being tested for coronovirus” basically as a test and trace for their own benefit and those of their larger ilk. How they get them to volunteer was not said.
    Is it being done here too?
    In my opinion better than the normal and inevitably inaccurate stabbing in the dark of our testing procedure and instead combing through persons of higher than normal virus levels.

  56. Ignoramus
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    It used to be possible for an individual bullock or cow to be humanely killed in the farm and field where they lived. It was then taken away to be butchered. This removed the fear of being alive in a slaughterhouse.

    The EU banned this and insisted it had to be taken to a slaughterhouse and killed in the presence of a vet. There is no reason why a farmer could not have a vet’s certificate that it was healthy and have it killed on the farm. The cost of transport would be the same.

    This would not be possible for a truckload of cattle but small farms could benefit from a higher price for unstressed cattle.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Ignoramus. Not so ignorant at all. Correct.

  57. Time Lord
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Any professor who says otherwise however complex or simple the reason that Electricity ‘knows’, is wrong. Yes he is. I’m much brighter than any know. The intelligentsia on Earth were sent by their gods for my amusement

    • Time Lord
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I do know the answer. They ( the professors) do not

  58. Mark
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Can we also have higher statue welfare standards?

    Abrogation of responsibility for rioting by mayors and police chiefs is not what I expect.

  59. Time Lord Community
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink


  60. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Meat is murder. Let’s outlaw it.

  61. Elli Ron
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I think you missed Foie de gras and GM food in your list.
    Sir Redwood, you are absolutely right, all of the EU restriction on food imports is in reality a crude and obvious attempt at reducing competition and allowing cruel practices in animal rearing, to support their farmers.

  62. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Another ares where the EU is clearly a negative force. Let’s see how Andy and Martin spin this one.

    Another are where we are good is protecting bats. You can’t get planning permission for anything without a bat survey and an action plan. And don’t forget newts either.

    • Andy
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Newts and bats are protected under European law. The Great Created Newt is actually protected under a European law which was brought in long before the EU existed, before Margaret Thatcher even came to power. It came in in 1979 – when we were just a Common Market. (And also working together to protect newts).

      • Edward2
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Yet on the website http://www.bats.org.uk they are arguing that leaving the EU will stop the very important EU legislation ( European Nature Directives) that really protects bats and their environment and habitats.
        Maybe they know more than you Andy.

  63. James Bertram
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    My all-time favourite blog-post of yours, Sir John. Thank you.

    This should give some idea of the EU’s attitude toward animal welfare (resulting in animal welfare policies based on the lowest common denominator of 27 countries):
    – 25 million migrating birds are killed (shot or trapped) annually in Mediterranean countries (principally Spain and Cyprus)
    – In Spain, 50, 000 greyhounds (galgos) are destroyed each year at the end of the hunting season, often in appalling circumstances (hung from trees, thrown down wells, impaled on fenceposts, set on fire, etcetera).
    – Also in Spain 3,000 festivals involve cruelty of animals resulting in an estimated 60,000 deaths – often bizarre methods used such as setting bulls’ heads on fire, decapitating geese, animal and bird stoning, horse wrestling, quail catapulting, throwing goats off the top of buildings, etcetera
    – Dog fighting is held openly in parts of Eastern Europe such as Bulgaria
    – Cockfighting is allowed in parts of France
    – Bullfighting is allowed in parts of France, Spain and Portugal

    The Eurogroup for Animals notes that the European Parliament Report 2017 for ‘Animal Welfare in the EU’ reveals that EU law excludes or fails several important species, and much of the existing animal legislation is not up to standard. There is no specific legislation about the keeping of trout (2nd commonest animal), salmon (3rd), rabbits (4th), ducks (5th), turkeys (6th), cats (8th), cattle (9th), sheep (10th), or dogs (11th). Most animals kept in the EU are not protected by EU law. Only broiler chickens, laying hens, pigs, animals used for experiments, and a few species of wild animal, have legislation on their keeping conditions and management.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      So you want loads more of what you call “red tape” then?

    • steve
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      James Bertram

      Well said.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      25 million migrating birds are killed (shot or trapped) annually in Mediterranean countries (principally Spain and Cyprus).

      Should have read as (principally Italy and Cyprus).

  64. glen cullen
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Bristol City Council needs to retrieve the statue of Edward Colston from the dock and replace it in good order back on its plinth

    Otherwise mob rule wins

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      It could, on the other hand, be melted down and made into something useful, like bronze roofing nails.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      No. Bristol Council needs go retrieve the statue and melt it down for scrap – as a majority of people would clearly want. Otherwise dictatorship wins.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:55 am | Permalink

        I don’t want it melted down. When was the referendum on melting it down?

  65. Bob
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Do you think that the British Police should get off of their knees and start enforcing the law?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Bob, YES

    Posted June 8, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    “and medics advise that small traces of chlorine are not harmful.” Maybe not to you and I just now but an old and no doubt deceased biology lecturer told us “We don’t even know the long-term effects of using soap” Importantly we still don’t. ‘Long term’ in stock buying jargon for instance is now 3-5 years. I took my lecturer to mean decades, hundreds if not thousands of years. He thought ahead. Also recalled what he had learned. He would be almost unique in Boris’s today mind-away medical team

  67. Stred
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    The hygiene standards in farms are important but what about human welfare in hospitals and care homes. The DM reports that researchers at UCL have found that viruses in one place in a hospital transferred to other wards and even the children’s play area within ten hours and stayed there for three days or more.

    The chief scientists are now admitting that most of the covid R is in hospitals and it is low in the general community. How is it that the NHS didn’t know this already and strict isolation has not happened so that normal treatment is safe. This also applies to care homes.

  68. Ian
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Mark B

    Most of us in the U.K. would stand by both what J R and you Mark B.

    Well said indeed.

    Now can this farce negotiation with the Bitter Block just be brought to W T O at the end of this month.
    And thank God , our PM has been persuaded to stay tight to our best friends,

    The other 4 Eyes

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:05 pm | Permalink


    • Mark B
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 4:50 am | Permalink

      Cheers mate:)

      And have a good day.

  69. matthu
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    How can we safeguard police horses when protesters are all wearing masks?

  70. margaret howard
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:28 pm | Permalink


    “In the very vexed area of chicken breeding, the EU was again reluctant to improve the cage space for battery hens. It took until 2012 to get a ban on the worst conditions.”

    UK lagging behind other countries in the EU

    2012 was the deadline by which conventional battery cages were banned under the EU Laying Hens Directive, but some countries acted under their own volition to make more far-reaching, and swifter, changes:

    • Switzerland got rid of the conventional battery cage in 2002 and is considering banning the ‘enriched’ cage.1

    • Germany banned conventional cages in 2007, and enriched cages from 2012.2

    • Austria banned battery cages as of 2009, and is also planning to phase out the enriched cage by 2020

    .3 • Sweden phased out conventional cages between 2001 and 2005

    .4 • Belgium proposes to ban enriched cages by 2024.5


    Reply Switzerland did better and is of course not a member of the EU

  71. margaret howard
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    After Mad Cow Disease we had the unenviable reputation of being the ONLY country in the world having its export banned

    The BSE crisis led to the European Union banning exports of British beef from 1996 lasting for 10 years until 2006

    The ban led to the incineration of over one million cattle costing the beef industry an estimated £1.5b.

    I remember the horrible sight of cattle carcasses being incinerated turning the countryside into a version of hell in the manner of a painting by Hieronymus Bosch.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Yes I contacted Edwina Currie at the time. I told her that if our beef was dangerous it should be banned from sale in the U.K. if it was not dangerous we should sue the EU. She told me our beef ‘could not be banned in the UK as it would make the EU look bad’.
      This is called the EU putting the U.K. on its knees – a political strategy for an explicit objective.

  72. Ed M
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Bullfighting is essentially about the brains, courage and artistic dexterity of a man engaging in the beautiful raw power of nature and trying to control and overcome that power.

    Hunting, shooting, fishing and bullfighting are part of the heritage of the gentry class which many people aspire to (the Spanish gentry are also involved in bullfighting like the English gentry with hunting, shooting and fishing).

    • Ed M
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Also, the life of the Spanish bull is a 1000 times greater than that of a bullock butchered for meat or a cow reared for milk. The Spanish bulls get to wander freely over acres of wild grasslands of Salamanca and others parts of Spain. They are the last of an ancient breed of animal that once roamed all over Europe. Without bullfighting, this breed would now be extinct. Bull-fighting also provides work for many skilled people including those who work with leather and embroidery.

      • steve
        Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        “Bull-fighting also provides work for many skilled people including those who work with leather and embroidery.”

        But that doesn’t justify stabbing the animal to death, does it.

        “Without bullfighting, this breed would now be extinct.”

        …..perhaps it’d be better of extinct.

      • BeebTax
        Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        It also supports some some rare ecosystems, which would be lost if the bulls were to go.

    • steve
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Ed M

      “Bullfighting is essentially about the brains, courage and artistic dexterity of a man engaging in the beautiful raw power of nature and trying to control and overcome that power.”

      …..Ok, so take the Matador’s steel away and have him face the bull with no clothes, no weapons i.e exactly as nature intended and see what a brave hard man he is then.

      Artistic ? don’t make me laugh. There is nothing artistic in stabbing animals to death.

  73. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    In order to avoid an increase in food costs, we need to import food not produced in the UK from the cheapest safe sources of supply. I would be grateful if you would indicate what those sources are likely to be.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 8, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      All sources will be cheaper once the EU import tax of 7% is removed.

  74. David Brown
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Generally I agree with your comments however I am still concerned about the wider implications of a trade agreement with the US. It may be wrong but I read (press reports) the US want country of origin to be removed from UK food especially meats. This may be a red herring by the press but it does give rise to concern when I want to buy UK only meats and fish.
    Also my old gripe about food miles and having meat products shipped in from the US, chlorine or no chlorine. I prefer meat and fish products to be local and not long distance.
    It may be that supermarkets decide not to sell US meat products simply because of customer pressure not to do so, and this really would make sale of US Agricultural products in the UK very restricted.
    Oh and totally off today’s topic, please try and do some thing about this 14 day quarantine, its making the Gov look – well – lets say challenging, especially after I watched the BBC interview with Ryan Air. Its almost impossible to Police it and it will cost a lot of time even attempting to Police it, given the number of bookings Ryan Air is currently taking.

  75. steve
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    What you say is indeed true JR.

    I’ve been to a number of EU member states, and was always appalled at the way they treat animals.

  76. The Eagle's Took Off
    Posted June 8, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    JR Do you have time to write a blog article on the rise of stock prices particularly in US exchanges? In my opinion and many others, all companies irrespective of being dead dogs or hush puppies are flying high. Even airlines not likely to make a profit nor pay off debts are soaring, also dead in the water cruise lines. Who would risk being imprisoned on a cruise for 3 months? Write your Will before you go!

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 9, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Who would risk being imprisoned on a cruise for 3 months?

      20-40 years olds 🙂

  77. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2020 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Long overdue yet again.

  78. davies
    Posted June 9, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Please add live animal exports to that list

    While your add it remember the hedge/habitat destruction that went on for many years thanks to the CAP

  79. Peter Parsons
    Posted June 10, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “I am strongly in favour of proper labelling and explanations of how food is produced.”

    In order for consumers to be able to choose effectively in all situations when there are food products produced to different sets of welfare standards, this needs to occur not just in places like supermarkets, but also in places such as restaurants, take aways, pubs, cafes and sandwich shops.

    On that basis, will you support introducing legislation to require appropriate food labelling such as country of origin for those places where, currently, it is not mandated, so that I, as a consumer, can make a fully informed choice as to which of those types of establishements I choose to spend my money in?

    If not, how do you plan to give consumers like myself the ability to make such informed choices?

  80. art
    Posted June 16, 2020 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    So true Liam!! Thanks for watching!

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page