- Luke holds government to account at DEFRA questions
- He questions the minister on food and animal welfare standards
- Luke also questions the minister on COVID-19 outbreaks at meat packing plants
Luke Pollard said:
“We need to make sure that our food and animal welfare standards are kept high in any future trade deals. This is just one of the issues I raised with the Secretary of State in the House of Commons today, in my role as Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary.
“Research from Which? Revealed that 8 out of 10 people are worried about how new trade deals will risk our high animal welfare standards. A petition organised by the National Farmers Union calling on food imported into the UK to be made to the same standards as food produced here has now reached 1 million signatures. It’s clear that looking after our farm animals properly, and making sure that the food on our children’s plates is good quality is really important to people across the country, and here in Plymouth as well.
“Time and time again the Conservatives have rejected Labour’s efforts, and our offers of help, to put high animal welfare standards into law. It seems the Secretary of State for DEFRA is being overridden by the Department for International Trade, which is doing anything it can to get a trade deal with Donald Trump.
“I also raised with the Secretary of State the important issue of meat processing plants, which have seen outbreaks of COVID-19 in them across the country. I am worried about the safety of these plants, and if there is a lack of PPE available and social distancing in place that is making it more likely for Coronavirus to spread. But what has far wider reaching implications is the lack of adequate statutory sick pay, which is meaning many people are going into work when they don’t need to. I want to see the government conduct a proper investigation into COVID-19 transmission and meat processing plants, with specialised support for the industry.”