Thank you to those who have contacted me about the welfare of farm animals.
I would like to assure you that I take the welfare of all animals very seriously. I know that the Government is committed to maintaining our world-leading farm animals welfare standards, and ministers will deliver a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
One of the ways in which the Government wishes to improve the welfare of farm animals is strengthening protections against animal confinement, and I know that the Government is actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including enriched cages for laying hens, farrowing crates for pigs and cages for breeding pheasants and partridges.
I am aware of an e-petition calling for the end the use of cages for farmed animals. I understand that a Westminster Hall debate has been scheduled on the subject on 20 June 2022.
Further, the Government’s Animal Health and Welfare Pathway will prioritise areas for further improvement in the health and welfare for pigs, cattle, sheep and poultry. One of the Pathway’s prioritises will be to support a transition away from enriched cages for laying hens.
More broadly, I am aware that ministers are taking action to improve the health and wellbeing of farm animals through the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which will ban exports of livestock and equines for slaughter and fattening.
Of course, if you do have specific concerns about the welfare of an animal, I would recommend reporting it to the police or to the RSPCA.