New UK report calls for action on animal welfare after Brexit

A new report backed by WDC has been released today calling on the UK Government to turn words into action when it comes to the welfare of whales, dolphins and many other creatures.

Brexit – getting the best deal for animals’ is supported by 41 of the UK’s best-known animal welfare charities who have joined forces to make sure that animal protection is strengthened and not lost as Britain exits the EU. The report recommends a suite of changes that would enable Ministers to realise their goal of being ‘a world leader on animal welfare’.

To fulfil Prime Minister Theresa May’s stated ambitions to enhance animal welfare in post-Brexit Britain, the charities are calling for animal welfare to be put centre stage in relevant future legislative decisions, including through the Animal Welfare Bill currently under consultation. The groups are urging the Government to commit to tangible actions such as: banning live exports of animals for slaughter; clamping down on pet travel loopholes exploited by unscrupulous puppy farmers; and ensuring that any farming subsidies reward best animal welfare practices.

A dolphin dies in a fishing net
A dolphin dies in a fishing net

One key area highlighted in the report is the incidental capture of whales and dolphins in fishing nets and gear – also known as bycatch. Bycatch’, is the biggest threat facing dolphins, porpoises and whales. Hundreds of thousands of individuals die a slow and painful death every year and WDC campaigning for strong national UK laws to stop these deaths in UK waters after Brexit. Alarmingly, the issue of bycatch did not feature in the UK Governments own 25 Year Plan for the Environment, launched a few days ago.

The report also calls on the UK Government to demonstrate strong global leadership on animal welfare, including by committing to ensure that protecting and enhancing animal welfare is a priority in new trade agreements.  WDC has been campaigning to force the EU to use its power and say no to a new trade agreement between the EU and Japan until the Japanese stop hunting whales.

Please support our work to end the needless deaths of whales and dolphins in fishing gear and nets.