Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement

From WikiAnimal

The free trade agreement signed by the UK and Australian Government includes a chapter for animal welfare.

Chapter 25[1] sees the Australian government formally recognise the 'sentience' of animals. It also signs Australia up to a clear instruction to improve UK animal welfare standards.



Article 25.1

Animal Welfare

1.         The Parties recognise that animals are sentient beings.  They also recognise the connection between improved welfare of farmed animals and sustainable food production systems.

2.         The Parties affirm the right of each Party to establish its own policies and priorities for the protection of animal welfare and to adopt or modify its laws, regulations and policies in this area.

3.         Each Party recognises that it is inappropriate to encourage bilateral trade or investment by weakening or reducing its levels of protection for animal welfare.  Accordingly, each Party shall endeavour to ensure that it does not waive or otherwise derogate from, or offer to waive or otherwise derogate from, its laws, regulations and policies in a manner that weakens or reduces its level of animal welfare protection as an encouragement for trade or investment between the Parties.

4.         Each Party shall endeavour to ensure that its laws, regulations and policies provide for and encourage high levels of animal welfare protection and shall endeavour to continue to improve their respective levels of animal welfare protection, including through their laws, regulations and policies.

5.         The Parties shall exchange information, expertise and experiences in areas of mutual interest in the field of animal welfare, with the aim of improving understanding of each other’s approaches and regulatory systems and improving animal welfare standards.

6.         The Parties shall continue to strengthen and build on their existing cooperation in the field of animal welfare, including on issues relating to the treatment of farmed animals, including by:

(a)        encouraging cooperation on research in the field of animal welfare; and

(b)       working together in relevant international fora on areas of mutual interest, including to promote the development of the best possible animal welfare standards and practices for animals farmed for food production.

7.         The Parties encourage non-governmental bodies and persons of the Parties to exchange views, experiences and information as part of wider collaboration in the field of animal welfare.

8.         The Parties hereby establish a Joint Working Group on Animal Welfare drawn from government representatives of the Parties responsible for animal welfare matters.

9.         The Joint Working Group will, among other things, provide a forum for:

(a)        cooperation on initiatives of mutual interest;

(b)       reviewing developments in animal welfare;

(c)        promoting high animal welfare practices; and

(d)       information sharing, under this Chapter.

10.       The Joint Working Group shall have its first meeting within one year of the entry into force of this Agreement, and thereafter at regular intervals as agreed by the Parties.

Article 25.2

Antimicrobial Resistance

1.         The Parties recognise that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global threat to human and animal health.

2.         The Parties recognise that the nature of the threat requires a transnational and One Health approach, in line with the Global Action Plan, acknowledging the interdependencies between animal health, human health, and the environment, and the implications for food safety and food security.

3.         Each Party shall explore initiatives to promote the reduced need for and appropriate use of antimicrobial agents in animal production and health, and in crop production, including promoting guidance on the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobial agents in good husbandry and veterinary practices, and biosecurity.

4.         The Parties shall cooperate, on areas of mutual interest in relevant international organisations, including the World Organisation for Animal Health, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, on the further development of international codes, guidelines, standards, recommendations and other international initiatives aiming to promote the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobial agents, including those which are critically important for human medicine.  Each Party shall support the implementation of such agreed international codes, guidelines, standards, recommendations and international initiatives.

5.         The Parties recognise and support efforts made towards global harmonisation of surveillance and data collection.  Each Party shall promote strengthened AMR surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use under a One Health approach and may exchange its experience in doing so with the other Party.

6.         The Parties shall facilitate the exchange of information, expertise, and experiences in the field of combatting antimicrobial resistance, and identify common views, interests, priorities, and policies in this area.

7.         The Committee on Cooperation established under Article 27.4 (Committee on Cooperation - Cooperation) shall consider any matter under this Article related to cooperation and support any cooperation activities.

Article 25.3

Non-application of Dispute Settlement

Neither Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 30 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

See also