In the biggest farming vote in generations, Harrogate & Knaresborough's Conservative MP voted to reduce import standards, selling out North Yorkshire's farmers and damaging animal welfare.
They’re betraying the UK public’s strongly voiced wishes to maintain our hard-won high animal welfare standards and they’ll be threatening UK farmers’ livelihoods. – Chris Sherwood, RSPCA
This means countries with lower animal welfare standards will be able to undercut North Yorkshire's farmers, who farm in a more sustainable and humane way.
The vote has been called out by various groups as deeply damaging to the British agriculture industry, including the RSPCA who has said it is "threatening UK farmers' livelihoods" and the British Veterinary Association, saying it is a "severe blow for animal welfare".
Harrogate & Knaresborough's Conservative MP, who voted to reduce agriculture standards, welcomed the move saying "I am pleased the Agriculture Bill has passed".
This result is a severe blow for animal welfare and a betrayal of the Government’s own manifesto commitment".
– James Russell, British Veterinary Association
Liberal Democrat MPs voted to support local farmers, opposing the Agriculture Bill and backing amendments that would have backed North Yorkshire's farmers and strengthened animal welfare.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson, Judith Rogerson, said:
"It's disappointing to see Harrogate & Knaresborough's MP fail to stand up for local farmers by voting to allow countries with lower standards undercut them.
”The UK should be leading the way in upholding the highest environmental and animal welfare standards, not selling out our planet, animals, and farmers for the sake of future trade deals."