As politicians return to parliament they are faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect the UK’s farm animal welfare standards. Failure to act now could result in a catastrophic weakening of the hard-won protections for millions of animals in this country.

We are calling on the people of Cumbria to sign our petition urging Government to ban lower standard imports.

With three months until Brexit, the increasing risk of there being no deal with our European neighbours, and as a net importer of nearly 40% of our food, the vast majority coming from the EU, the Government has to feed the nation. Manifesto promises and pronouncements guaranteeing to protect our high welfare standards as we seek new trade deals around the globe have not been backed up by the legal protections that are essential to ensure the Government does not roll back on their commitment to protect British farmers and their animals.

The realities of chlorine washed chicken and hormone-treated beef in our shops have been well documented, but British consumers also face having products from pigs produced using sow stalls, banned in the UK since 1999, and egg products from laying hens kept in barren battery cages, also illegal in this country since 2012.

Lords are due to discuss this vital issue this week – how we feed the nation and crucially where it comes from and how it is produced, is becoming an increasingly pressing issue.

We urge UK shoppers to sign our petition at

Chris Sherwood,

Chief executive, RSPCA