MPs to discuss future of farrowing crates

MPs are due to the discuss the future of farrowing crates tonight, as a petition calling for the Government to ban all cages for farmed animals is debated in the Commons.

The debate is taking place after a petition calling for the Government to ‘End the Cage Age’ attracted 107,000 signatures. In a short statement ahead of the debate, the Government said it ‘shared the public’s high regard for animal welfare and the welfare of our farmed livestock is protected by comprehensive and robust legislation’.

The debate, due to start at approximately 6pm, will last up to 90 minutes.

NPA members and supporters have been writing to MPs to set out why farrowing crates are used and why a ban would be counterproductive.

The NPA has recently published an updated briefing on farrowing crates, setting out all the issues around their use and the difficulties in moving to alternative systems. You can view the briefing here.

A recent move by MPs to add an amendment banning farrowing crates to the Agriculture Bill was rejected by members of the committee scrutinising the Bill in the Commons. New Defra Minister Victoria Prentis and former Defra Minister Robert Goodwill were among those to back the industry position opposing a ban.

Preceding the cage debate, MPs will also discuss a petition calling for the recognition of animal sentience and requiring animal welfare to be given full consideration by law.

The Government said: “We are committed to making the necessary changes required to UK law in a rigorous and comprehensive way to ensure animal sentience is recognised after the UK leaves the EU.”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.