I support British farming wanting it to be economically viable, environmentally sustainable and to lead the world with high standards in animal welfare and food quality.
At the recent election, I stood on a manifesto which pledged to promote cruelty-free animal husbandry and to consult on ways to ensure agreed standards are better enforced. I will continue to press for the highest possible animal welfare standards across British farming.
I share your concerns about overuse of antibiotics on farms and agree far too much of this is preventative. Antibiotics should not be used in place of high quality farm management and husbandry systems. The Government says that it is working on plans to reduce the use of antibiotics. I believe it should establish firm targets for reducing antibiotics in farming and more specifically, targets on the use of antibiotics “critically important” in human medicine. I also support a ban on certain classes of antibiotics in certain species, such as fluoroquinolones in poultry, and believe farmers must be supported on the responsible use of antibiotics.
I recognise that as a country we need to change our relationship with food and as such I believe that new proposals on food labelling are needed.
We must prioritise a sustainable, long-term future for our farming, fishing and food industries. We cannot allow Brexit to be used as an excuse for food standards to be reduced or to allow cheap and inferior produce to flood the UK market. I believe we should reconfigure funds for farming to promote sustainable practices so that the industry can thrive and succeed while benefitting local communities.
I can assure you I will continue to call for action to promote a humane and sustainable British farming system, I will press for our existing environmental and animal welfare standards to be retained and strengthened once we have left the EU. I am also writing to Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union the Rt Hon David Davis MP.
As a new member of the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Select Committee, who has a passionate lifetime commitment to the environment, I look forward to working with colleagues across the House to hold the Government to account on issues such as Brexit preparations, post-Brexit agricultural policy, air quality, animal welfare standards and the use of antibiotics.