Questions raised with Gove about Red Tractor pig farms

I’ve written to the Environment Minister, Michael Gove, about alleged failures of the Red Tractor farms to guarantee minimum standards of animal welfare. An investigation carried out by the organisation Animal Equality exposed serious welfare problems on four British Red Tractor pig farms and includes video footage. Continue reading “Questions raised with Gove about Red Tractor pig farms”

Social justice is as important between generations, as it is within generations

The NUS plays a pivotal role in promoting an understanding of the links between the environment and social justice in this country. So it was a great pleasure to speak at their ‘Green Impact’ Parliamentary reception, which celebrates the way that sustainability has become part of the core business of what the NUS does locally and nationally.

A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns

The common bond between all the towns and villages under threat of fracking in England is their powerful sense of identity and community through the campaigns. Fracking is an imposition, an invasion by big government and corporate power. To represent this common bond, the threatened communities have banded together to produce a Commonweal wheel. It’s inspired by Parliamentary ideas from the Civil War period that power should be invested as close to the people as possible to manage the environment suitably for their sustenance, overriding the interests of the crown and royal decree. Continue reading “A sense of community links all the anti-fracking campaigns”

Sentient creatures and Brexit

The Commons came within 18 votes of passing a Caroline Lucas amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would have included protection of sentient creatures. Early next year I shall put this same amendment to the Lords. It is an existing EU principle and one of many principles underpinning EU law and regulation that have been rejected as amendments by the government.

Continue reading “Sentient creatures and Brexit”

Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside

I asked the Government what steps they are taking to protect rural communities from pesticides and whether they intend to adopt non-chemical farming methods post-Brexit. It is almost inevitable that my question achieves little more than raising a neglected issue on behalf of neglected communities. However, it does allow other peers to join in with their own set of constituent concerns or issues. Continue reading “Pesticides in our food, our soil and our countryside”

Solutions for the farm of the future

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism I’ve been asked to look at the findings in a report produced by the New Economics Foundation in collaboration with the Vegan Society as part of their Grow Green campaign.  You can read the full report here but it is essentially identifying the barriers to increased plant protein crop production in the UK and how we can overcome them. Continue reading “Solutions for the farm of the future”

The Government must act to protect UK citizens from exposure to toxic crop sprays

People are often surprised to learn that highly poisonous chemicals – that were originally designed as weapons of war1 – have been allowed for many decades, under successive Government policies, to be sprayed on crop fields all over the UK. The chemical warfare in the countryside – known as ‘conventional farming’ – has resulted in thousands of residents suffering devastating, even fatal, consequences to their health and lives.Sprayer Continue reading “The Government must act to protect UK citizens from exposure to toxic crop sprays”