Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Take Action to Ensure Brexit doesn’t Weaken Wildlife Protection

5 September 2017

Categories: Homepage News, UK Wildlife News

Protecting Our Wildlife and the Welfare of Our Animals is Vital to the UK’s Reputation, Values and Our Common Future

It seems we can’t speak about anything these days without the implications of Brexit being raised, and politicians arguing with equal gusto that the outcomes will be either hugely beneficial or utterly disastrous.

The future for wildlife is no different. More than 80% of our law designed to protect our environment and the natural world comes from Europe. The extent to which the UK will retain or change this legislation following Brexit hangs in the balance.

Our current Government has pledged to be ‘the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state than that in which we found it’. But with the complexities involved in transposing European legislation into UK law, Ministers under pressure to ‘cut red tape’ at every opportunity, and with the Department for Environment and its agencies having been cut to the bone in recent years, we can’t take anything for granted.

We need to make sure that Secretary of State for Environment, Michael Gove, makes good on his pledge that any changes to UK laws following Brexit will increase, rather than reduce, environmental protections. That means retaining and improving on key pieces of EU legislation such as the Nature Directives and Wildlife Trade Regulations. It means the UK must ensure that Government and industry can be challenged on how environmental and welfare laws are interpreted, when the European Courts no longer have jurisdiction. It means adopting a precautionary approach that favours wildlife and its protection where there is doubt. It also means that the UK needs to recognise animal sentience and the need to make the welfare of animals the highest priority throughout all legislative processes, something that is enshrined in EU treaties but is currently lacking in the UK’s constitutional arrangements.

As we go forward into a new, independent era, the UK should seek and support the highest levels of international protection for wildlife, and be prepared to set an example by implementing the strictest of domestic measures, while recognising that wildlife does not respect national borders and that cooperation with our near neighbours remains vital.

You can help.

Please write to your Member of Parliament today, reminding them of their crucial role in defending our environmental and animal welfare laws and ensuring they are not weakened by Brexit or left vulnerable to future change.

You might wish to include the following points in your letter/email:

  • The UK Government has committed to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation. Michael Gove committed to ensuring better protection for the environment when he became Environment Secretary.
  • I am pleased that these promises have been made, but as my MP I ask you to help ensure that they are kept.
  • As we move into a new, independent era, the UK should seek and support the highest levels of international wildlife and environmental protection, and be prepared to set an example by implementing the strictest of domestic measures to protect wildlife and animal welfare, while recognising that wildlife does not respect national borders and that cooperation with our near neighbours remains vital.
  • As the Repeal Bill progresses, please defend our high animals welfare standards and take whatever action you can to ensure, as a minimum, that we retain all EU principles and legislative measures protecting our wildlife and the welfare of animals, and where possible enhance them.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
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