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Cabinet Office Ministerial Responsibilities

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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DEFRA logo

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) central purpose is to help build a low carbon, resource efficient economy, and help people to adapt to changes. Defra defends them from environmental risks and makes the most of the opportunity we now have to secure a sustainable society and a healthy environment. Defra's main tasks are to secure a healthy environment for us all and defend against environmental risks; promote an economy that produces less carbon, and uses resources more efficiently; and ensure a thriving farming sector and a sustainable, healthy and secure food supply.

Defra is working towards achieving a society adapted to the effects of climate change, through domestic and international action; a healthy, resilient, productive and diverse natural environment; sustainable, low-carbon and resource efficient patterns of consumption and production; an economy and society resilient to environmental risk; a thriving farming and food sector with an improving net environmental impact; sustainable development championed across government, across the UK, and internationally; strong rural communities; a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply; and aims to be a respected department delivering efficient and high quality services and outcomes.


Contact information

Parliamentary Branch

Correspondence Section

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Ministers

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

hilary_benn.jpg

Hilary Benn

Leads on:

Private Office to The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Minister of State (Minister for Farming and the Environment): Jim Fitzpatrick MP

Jim Fitzpatrick

Jim Fitzpatrick

Leads on:

Private Office to Jim Fitzpatrick MP 

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Minister for the Natural and Marine Environment, Wildlife and Rural Affairs): Huw Irranca-Davies MP

Huw Irranca-Davies

Huw Irranca-Davies

Leads on:

Private Office to Huw Irranca-Davies MP 

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rural Affairs and Environment): Dan Norris MP

Dan Norris

Dan Norris

Leads on:

Private Office to Dan Norris MP 

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State: The Rt Hon Lord Davies of Oldham

Lord Davies

Lord Davies

Also Deputy Chief Whip (Captain of The Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard)

Private Office to  The Rt Hon Lord Davies

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Private Offices

Private Office to The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP

Private Office to Jim Fitzpatrick MP

Private Office to Huw Irranca-Davies MP

Private Office to Dan Norris MP

Private Office to The Rt Hon Lord Davies of Oldham

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Executive Agencies

Animal Health

Animal Health (AH) is principally responsible for ensuring that farmed animals in England, Scotland and Wales are healthy, disease-free and well looked after. Animal Health manages the field response to outbreaks of notifiable animal disease, including Foot and Mouth and Avian Flu. AH came into being on 1 April 2007, following the merger of the State Veterinary Service (SVS), Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate, Egg Marketing Inspectorate and the Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service (part of implementing the Hampton recommendations). AH is sponsored by and works on behalf of, Defra, the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Government in implementing animal health and welfare policies, and for the Food Standards Agency to ensure dairy hygiene and egg production standards are met.

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Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

The Centre for Environment, Food and Aquaculture Science provides scientific and technical support, consultancy and advice, to Defra and other customers, in the fields of fisheries' science and management, environmental assessment, aquaculture and fish health.

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The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera)

An executive agency of the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) overarching purpose is to support and develop a sustainable food chain, a healthy natural environment, and to protect the global community from biological and chemical risks. Its role within that is to provide robust evidence, rigorous analysis and professional advice to Government, international organisations and the private sector.

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Forest Enterprise (England)

To manage England's forest estate.

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Forest Research

To provide research services relevant to UK and international forestry interests, inform and support forestry’s contribution to UK governmental policies. Our core roles are to provide the evidence base for UK forestry practices and to support innovation.

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Marine and Fisheries Agency

The Marine and Fisheries Agency carries out the inspection and enforcement work previously undertaken by Defra's Sea Fisheries Inspectorate. The agency is also responsible for fishing vessel licensing, quota management and grant schemes, as well as marketing and trade matters.

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Rural Payments Agency

The Rural Payments Agency is an Executive Agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. RPA is the UK Funding Body responsible for funding the CAP schemes administered by all the UK paying agencies and has responsibility for the receipt and administration of monies from the Guarantee Section of the European Agriculture Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), provision of operational advice in support of policy formation.

The Rural Payments Agency includes the former Intervention Board and MAFF Regional Service Centres. The Agency will make certain payments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on behalf of the devolved administrations.

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Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA)

The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) safeguards public and animal health through world class veterinary research and surveillance of farmed livestock and wildlife.

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Veterinary Medicines Directorate

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is responsible for protecting public health, animal health, the environment and promoting animal welfare by assuring the safety, quality and efficacy of veterinary medicines in the United Kingdom.

Certain enforcement and food safety matters devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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