Frequently Asked Questions
Photograph: Marisa Heath


International trade is a complex issue with technical phrases like FTA, tariffs, MFN, TCAs, BPCs etc and ever changing situations as negotiations progress mainly behind closed doors. Each individual deal between a nation or collection of nations will have different agreements within them. TAWC has set out some frequently asked questions here to help clarify some of the terminology and points which are raised in our work scrutinising agreements or outlines relating to animal welfare. If you have any questions, let us know via our contact form and we will aim to include them in the list below.

How Can I Support High Animal Welfare Standards

You can write to your MP and to the Ministers at the Department for International Development setting out your view that animal welfare is a very significant factor in the negotiations around trade deals and that it is important for the public to see that the U.K is pushing standards higher. As a consumer you can also make choices that support high animal welfare by choosing meat and dairy products carefully and choosing more plant based products.

Why is Animal Welfare Important in Trade?

Trade can have an immense and detrimental impact on animal welfare as a lot of trade is about food products such as meat and dairy and also the movement of live animals including the pet trade and farm animals. Up to this point Free Trade Agreements have tended to include little to no farm animal welfare protection whilst allowing considerable liberalisation of trade in animal products. Standards for animal welfare can vary considerably across different countries and so it is important that if one country has set high standards it does not undermine those by allowing the import of much lower standards. Animal welfare can also be linked to many other important issues such as sustainability, health and climate change which is why it must be a serious factor with trade negotiations.

What is the EU-UK TCA?

TCA stands for Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This TCA was concluded between the EU and the UK and it sets out preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and in services, digital trade, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation and road transport, energy, fisheries, social security coordination, law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, thematic cooperation and participation in Union programmes. It is underpinned by provisions ensuring a level playing field and respect for fundamental rights.

What is an FTA?

An FTA is a Free Trade Agreement is a pact between two or more nations to reduce barriers to imports and exports among them.