Environment, food and rural affairs
The Government believes that we need to protect the environment for future generations, make our economy more environmentally sustainable, and improve our quality of life and well-being. We also believe that much more needs to be done to support the farming industry, protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable food production.
- We will introduce measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence.
- We will introduce measures to protect wildlife and promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity.
- We will launch a national tree planting campaign.
- We will review the governance arrangements of National Parks in order to increase local accountability.
- We will work towards full compliance with European Air Quality standards.
- We will take forward the findings of the Pitt Review to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk.
- We will examine the conclusions of the Cave and Walker Reviews, and reform the water industry to ensure more efficient use of water and the protection of poorer households.
- We will work towards a ‘zero waste’ economy, encourage councils to pay people to recycle, and work to reduce littering.
- We will reduce the regulatory burden on farmers by moving to a risk-based system of regulation, and will develop a system of extra support for hill farmers.
- We will investigate ways to share with livestock keepers the responsibility for preparing for and dealing with outbreaks of disease.
- We will take forward the Marine and Coastal Access Act and ensure that its conservation measures are implemented effectively.
- As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bovine tuberculosis.
- We will promote high standards of farm animal welfare. We will end the testing of household products on animals and work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. We will promote responsible pet ownership by introducing effective codes of practice under the Animal Welfare Act, and will ensure that enforcement agencies target irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs.
- We will ensure that food procured by government departments, and eventually the whole public sector, meets British standards of production wherever this can be achieved without increasing overall cost.
- We will investigate measures to help with fuel costs in remote rural areas, starting with pilot schemes.
- We will create a presumption in favour of sustainable development in the planning system.
- We oppose the resumption of commercial whaling, will press for a ban on ivory sales, and will tackle the smuggling and illegal trade on wildlife through our new Border Police Force.
- We will bring forward a motion on a free vote enabling the House of Commons to express its view on the repeal of the Hunting Act.