Last week’s signing of an Australia-UK trade deal has been hailed as a big win for Australian agriculture.

The first free trade agreement struck by the UK since it left the European Union is expected to phase out or immediately eliminate tariffs on a range of products.

The RSPCA in Australia has welcomed the history-making inclusion of animal welfare in the agreement which states:

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

While the recognition of sentience is positive, the opportunity to use the agreement to improve Australia's animal welfare standards to better align with the UK's (one of the best in the world) has been lost.