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Open Letter Hand-in Goes Virtual

News Section Icon Published 08/12/2020

A cow and calves in pasture

Today (8th December), we held a live virtual event to honour the signatures of over 77,000 supporters on our open letter to the Prime Minister. This dynamic event marks the culmination of months of dedicated lobbying to protect animal welfare in trade deals.

Prioritise animal welfare

Our letter urges the Government to take poor welfare practices and overuse of antibiotics into account before embarking on trade deals with countries outside of the EU post-Brexit. The UK must not permit the import of meat, eggs and dairy products that are produced to lower animal welfare standards than those of the UK, and that means prioritising animal welfare when engaging in trade talks.

A virtual event

In place of an in-person delivery of signatures – made impossible due to current COVID-19 restrictions – we organised a virtual event, delivered by Natasha Smith, our Senior Campaigns Manager, which was live-streamed on Facebook and Youtube. During the event, Peter Stevenson, our Chief Policy Advisor, joined Natasha for a conversation about the dangers of importing food products produced to lower standards.

His concerns were echoed by supportive MPs – including Luke Pollard MP, Deidre Brock MP, Tim Farron MP and Caroline Lucas MP – Compassion volunteers, and TV vet Emma Milne – all of whom stressed the importance of protecting animal welfare in trade talks.

Emma said: “My big fear is that…when we leave the European Union, that, if we enter into trade deals with countries like the United States and others, that have welfare standards that are lower than ours, this is potentially a massive backward step.”

Widespread support

“It has been amazing to see such huge support for this letter from all corners of society: members of the public, MPs, volunteers, and our wonderful High Profile Supporters and Patrons, like Mike Beckingham and Jerome Flynn,” says Natasha. “And because the hand-in was live-streamed, supporters could watch it in the moment and really feel part of a massive, unified movement. We’re so grateful to everyone who has backed this campaign and who tuned in to watch.”

Missed the livestream? You can watch it here!

Find out more about what a bad trade deal could mean for farm animals.


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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).