As politicians return to parliament after their Summer break, they are faced with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect the UK’s farm animal welfare standards.

Failure to act now could result in a catastrophic weakening of the hard-won protections for millions of animals in this country.

We are calling on the people of Cumbria to sign our petition urging Government to ban lower standard imports.

With three months until Brexit, the increasing risk of there being no deal with our European neighbours, and as a net importer of nearly 40 per cent of our food, the vast majority coming from the European Union, the Government has to feed the nation.

The realities of chlorine washed chicken and hormone-treated beef ending up on our supermarket shelves have been well documented, but British consumers also face having products from pigs produced using sow stalls, banned in the UK since 1999, and egg products from laying hens kept in barren battery cages, also illegal in this country since 2012.

Lords are due to discuss this vital issue this week. A recent survey showed 74 per cent of adults in the North West region want the Government to honour its commitment not to lower animal welfare standards. Without clear legislation banning food produced to lower welfare standards from our shores, we rely totally on political promises and risk setting back animal welfare by decades. We urge UK shoppers to sign our petition Chris Sherwood, CEO RSPCA