20 February 2018
In response to the Secretary of State’s speech at the NFU conference on a ‘brighter future for farming’, Dr Elaine King, Director of Wildlife and Countryside Link, said:
‘Farming and the environment must work hand in glove to ensure a successful UK food production industry, thriving wildlife and improved access to our treasured landscapes. We welcome the Secretary of State’s vision and his commitment that the lion’s share of farming payments post-Brexit should focus on a healthy environment and strong animal welfare standards.
‘Farmers should be, and often are, the guardians of the land they work. Yet for too long farming payment criteria have made it difficult for farmers to prioritise the environment they care for. This has left us with failing soils and rivers and declining populations of wild plants, bees, birds and other wildlife.
‘Promises on firm welfare standards for livestock in post-Brexit trade deals are welcome, but it is essential that they be given a strong legal basis.
‘We now need to see a clear road-map, with fixed deadlines, laid out in the forthcoming Agriculture Bill to ensure the UK is put on the right path to recovery for our environment and our farming future.’
Read our full proposals for a Sustainable Farming and Land Management Policy for England here.
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