Labour proposes foie gras ban and end to badger cull in new 50-point animal welfare plan

Tom Powell
Foie gras, a liver pate made by force-feeding ducks or geese, is already illegal to produce in the UK: Shutterstock

Labour has proposed completely banning foie gras and ending the badger cull as part of its strategy for improving animal welfare in the UK.

The party’s 50-point animal welfare draft policy also sets out plans to strengthen the Hunting Act to prevent illegal fox hunting, and enshrine the principle that animals are sentient in law.

The plans, backed by conservation charity WWF, will be seen as an attempt to wrestle back political ground after the Conservative government announced a series of animal-friendly policies.

The proposals also include exploring the potential for elderly and disabled people who move into care homes to keep their pets.

Other measures proposed by Labour include mandatory labelling of domestic and imported meat including country of origin and production and slaughter methods, as it seeks to set out its position as the "party of animal welfare".

Under the plans, landlords would be consulted on giving tenants a default right to own pets unless there is evidence they are causing a nuisance, while motorists would be required to report accidents where an animal has been injured.

The plan also includes proposals to tighten up fox-hunting laws (Getty Images)

Third-party sales of puppies would be banned and a "blue belt" would be introduced to protect and enhance the marine environment around the UK and its Overseas Territories.

Foie gras, a liver pate made by force-feeding ducks or geese, is already illegal to produce in the UK but Labour wants to ban all imports too.

Shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman said: "From bringing in the ban on fox hunting to tightening the rules on the transport of live animals, Labour has always been consistent in our leadership on matters of animal welfare.

"Today we're making proposals for real, long-term progress.

"Our vision is one where no animal is made to suffer unnecessary pain and we continue to drive up standards and practice in line with the most recent advances and understanding."

She said: "With new trade deals on the horizon and the UK no longer subject to EU-wide rules on animal welfare, we want to ensure there is a comprehensive legislative agenda in place so that the UK becomes a world leader on animal rights."

The proposals have been backed by the League Against Cruel Sports, conservation charity WWF And Compassion in World Farming.

Conservative MP Steve Double said: "Labour are belatedly playing catch-up with the huge progress made by this Government on animal welfare.

"However, Labour wouldn't even be able to deliver some of these promises because they want to keep following EU rules after Brexit.

"From introducing mandatory CCTV into slaughterhouses to increasing the maximum sentence for animal cruelty 10-fold, the Conservatives will continue taking the action needed to ensure animals receive the proper protection they deserve."