How will Brexit impact animal welfare and our environment? Asks Holyrood Committee


The environmental implications of Scotland leaving the EU will be put under the spotlight by a Holyrood Committee.

The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee launched its inquiry today, and it encourages individuals and organisations to share their views on the future of environmental and animal welfare protection in a post-Brexit world.

Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee Convener, Graeme Dey MSP, said:

“Clearly, we are in uncharted territory when it comes to Brexit and no one can fully anticipate the impact this will have in Scotland.

“But our Committee intends to explore in detail whether or not environmental and animal welfare protections will be eroded as a result of Brexit. We’ll be examining how important EU principles are, such as the precautionary approach and animal sentience, and considering if and how these should be retained.

“We would like to hear from a wide range of individuals and organisations to shape our inquiry, and try to ensure Scotland maintains and strengthens environmental principles in the future.”


The Committee is seeking responses to the following questions:

1. How important are the EU principles of:

  • the precautionary principle
  • preventive action
  • environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source
  • the polluter should pay
  • animal sentience.

2. How and where have these principles had an impact on environmental and animal welfare policy in Scotland?

3. Views on the appropriateness of retaining/adopting/enshrining these EU principles in law or alternative principles/approaches that could be adopted.

4. Views on if and how environmental principles could and should be enshrined in law in Scotland and enforced.

5. Examples of where key environmental principles have been enshrined in domestic legislation elsewhere.

The deadline for response is Thursday 29 March 2017.

Find out more on the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee website.

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