Environmental Targets: Biodiversity

These are not just limp targets; they are utterly inadequate

My speech to the house yesterday: I declare an interest as a rabid Green who thinks that these are not just limp targets; they are utterly inadequate. It strikes me that Defra is not doing its homework with scientists. It is not listening to the science; it is not keeping up.

I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Young, for tabling this amendment and I have really enjoyed the speeches. I am not going to go on for very long, but I would like to mention the whole issue of zoonotic disease. I am quite concerned that at the moment we have caged animals in the UK for all sorts of reasons; they are mainly hens. Such practices can pose a serious risk to human health as well as to animal welfare and biodiversity. Unnatural crowding, poor hygiene, stress, injuries and low genetic diversity are ideal for the creation and spread of novel pathogens, as we have already seen in the past few years. I am curious as to whether the Government are working on this issue or if it is just not part of their thinking at their moment.

I also mention that international zoonotic diseases are particularly prevalent in fur farming and although we have banned such practices in the UK, we still allow imports. Are the Government considering a ban on imported furs?

Read the whole debate here