Animal Welfare vs Free Trade – Free Trade Wins: An Examination of the Animal Welfare Implications of R v Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food ex p Compassion in World Farming (1998)
The European Union (EU) has often been regarded as a prime mover in the cause of improved animal welfare. There is a great deal of European legislation to support this contention. This article discusses a recent case brought by the UK Government under Article 177 of the Treaty of Rome
1957 which challenges the assumption that EU law always favours animal welfare. We suggest that free trade is the driving force behind EU legislation and that where this conflicts with animal welfare, free trade is usually preferred.