THE British Veterinary Association (BVA) has questioned how the Government will protect the UK’s high animal health and welfare standards, following the announcement of the UK-Australia trade deal.

Although the trade deal includes a cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years, the announcement paves the way for tariff-free imports from 2036 with no guarantee that Australia will need to meet UK animal welfare standards.

BVA President James Russell said: “While the phasing in of tariff-free access gives British agriculture time to adjust, there appears to be no mechanism to ensure Australia must use that time to meet an appropriate level of animal welfare standards in order to secure tariff-free access to the UK market.”