Tell your MP to Support a Healthy Homegrown Food Supply – bill to be debated 13th May

The Agriculture Bill to be debated in parliament on May 13th will set the course of our farming system for many generations. The Bill as it stands does much to protect the environment, but we believe the Bill should do more to protect our farmers and support our supply of healthy, home grown food.

It is entirely possible to produce more of the food we need through nature-friendly, agroecological farming.

Click this link to quickly tell your MP. Your support will build a stronger UK farming sector for future generations.

DEFRA guidance on using green spaces

Updated 1/5/2020

The government’s priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.

However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

Please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily. If you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that has routinely required you to leave the home to maintain your health – including if that involves travel beyond your local area – then you can do so, ideally in line with a formal care plan agreed with a medical professional
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least two metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • you should not gather with more than two people who aren’t from the same household in parks or other public spaces. The police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • if walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should walk your dog on a lead to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others. You can find further guidance for pet owners here

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: DEFRA

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8 out of 10 people feel that animal welfare laws should be upheld or strengthened post Brexit

Thirty-six animal welfare organisations [1] are warning that the UK Government risks public dismay if it waters down animal protections in UK law post-Brexit [2], following on from a public outcry in late 2017 over weakening animal sentience law. [3] New research released today reveals that more than 8 out of 10 people (81%) think that animal welfare laws should be maintained or strengthened post-Brexit, while only 2% feel it might be acceptable to have weaker animal protections.

The warning comes as a new #BetterDealForAnimals campaign is launched, to make sure that animals don’t become victims of Brexit. The campaign is calling for animal sentience to be explicitly enshrined in UK law, as it is in the EU, and for any future legislation or Government policy to fully take into account its impact on the welfare of animals. Without this, the UK Government’s current planned legislation will weaken protection for animals across the country. 

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: Wildlife and Countryside

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Some British supermarkets are still allowing suppliers to use routine antibiotics

Three British supermarkets are still allowing their suppliers to use antibiotics routinely in animal feed and drinking water, according to a new report by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics [1]. The continued misuse of antibiotics in some supermarket supply chains is occurring despite calls from the United Nations and the World Health Organization to end the overuse of antibiotics in farming [2][3].

The Alliance assessed the publicly available antibiotics policies of the 10 leading British supermarkets and found that Aldi, Asda and Iceland have no restrictions on their meat, dairy and egg suppliers using antibiotics routinely, other than minimum legal requirements. In contrast, the Co-op, Lidl, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose prohibit routine antibiotic use, whereas Morrisons has a ban for some species and not for others.

In the UK, the Brexit process involves, amongst other things, the transfer of European legislation into UK law – a process which has followed a stop-start pattern for most of this year.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: Alliance to Save our Antibiotics (Image: WHO)

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New UK GMO regulations – what do they mean?

One of the most worrying aspects of the current political upheaval in the UK and Europe is the risk of being so overwhelmed by the noise and sense of urgency that we miss what’s really going on.

In the UK, the Brexit process involves, amongst other things, the transfer of European legislation into UK law – a process which has followed a stop-start pattern for most of this year.

However, during the prorogation of Parliament in September several key pieces of legislation slipped through undebated including the Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019 and the Animal Health and Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

The new regulation is largely the same as current EU regulations with one notable exception. It mandates that GMO regulations are reviewed and revised every 5 years (first report due Sept 2024) – and that these should prioritise, where possible, “less onerous regulatory provision”.

Apart from ringing alarm bells about ‘slippery slopes’, this time frame buys the UK some time while Europe figures out what it wants to do about regulating GMOs.

Only last week EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told MEPs that if the UK wanted to secure a trade agreement it would have to maintain a level playing field and not undercut EU regulation. In this respect, as in many others, Brexit does not necessarily sever the UK from the EU.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: Beyond GM

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Advisors from a cross section of industry have been appointed to support the development of the National Food Strategy

An advisory panel of experts from across agriculture, retail, food manufacture, NGOs and academia has today been named to support the development of the National Food Strategy.  The Advisory Panel is made up of people from across the food system with extensive experience of the issues the review is tackling.

Lead Independent Reviewer, Henry Dimbleby, has asked the panel to review his work as it progresses and to provide strong independent challenge.  The National Food Strategy team wants to ensure that no stone is left unturned and that ideas are examined from every angle.

For further information……click on full article link. 

Credit: Image – National Food Strategy

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