Ormskirk Advertiser

Out­law these food im­ports

- Animals · Society · Wildlife · United Kingdom · European Union · HM Revenue and Customs

AS politi­cians re­turn to par­lia­ment af­ter their sum­mer break, they are faced with a once-in-a-gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity to pro­tect the UK’s farm an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards.

Fail­ure to act now could re­sult in a cat­a­strophic weak­en­ing of the hard-won pro­tec­tions for mil­lions of an­i­mals in this coun­try. We are call­ing on peo­ple to sign our pe­ti­tion urg­ing Gov­ern­ment to ban lower stan­dard im­ports.

With three months un­til Brexit, the in­creas­ing risk of there be­ing no deal with our Euro­pean neigh­bours, and as a net im­porter of nearly 40% of our food, the vast ma­jor­ity com­ing from the Euro­pean Union, the Gov­ern­ment has to feed the na­tion.

Man­i­festo prom­ises and par­lia­men­tary pro­nounce­ments guar­an­tee­ing to pro­tect our high wel­fare stan­dards as we seek new trade deals around the globe have not been backed up by the le­gal pro­tec­tions that are es­sen­tial to en­sure the Gov­ern­ment does not roll back on their com­mit­ment to pro­tect Bri­tish farmers and their an­i­mals.

The re­al­i­ties of chlo­rine washed chicken and hor­mone-treated beef end­ing up on our su­per­mar­ket shelves have been well doc­u­mented, but Bri­tish con­sumers also face hav­ing prod­ucts from pigs pro­duced us­ing sow stalls, banned in the UK since 1999, and egg prod­ucts from lay­ing hens kept in bar­ren bat­tery cages, also il­le­gal in this coun­try since 2012.

Lords were due to dis­cuss this vi­tal is­sue – how we feed the na­tion and cru­cially where it comes from and how it is pro­duced, is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly press­ing is­sue and we know the pub­lic back our cam­paign to pro­tect and en­hance our food stan­dards.

A re­cent sur­vey showed 74% of adults in the North West re­gion want the Gov­ern­ment to hon­our its com­mit­ment not to lower an­i­mal wel­fare stan­dards.

With­out clear leg­is­la­tion ban­ning food pro­duced to lower wel­fare stan­dards from our shores, we rely to­tally on political prom­ises and risk set­ting back an­i­mal wel­fare by decades, caus­ing the suf­fer­ing of more an­i­mals to pro­duce the food on our plates and fail­ing to pro­tect Bri­tish farmers.

We urge UK shop­pers to sign our pe­ti­tion at www.rspca.org.uk/ agri­bill in the hope that the Gov­ern­ment will lis­ten to the Bri­tish pub­lic and pro­tect our hard-won farm an­i­mal wel­fare.

Chris Sher­wood CEO, RSPCA FRAUD AMID THE PANIC

DISTURBING re­ports from the HMRC say that up to £3.5bn fur­lough claims are ei­ther fraud­u­lent or have been claimed in er­ror.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 27,000 high-risk cases which HMRC are look­ing into.

There have been 8,000 calls into the In­land Rev­enue fraud hot­line.

These types of er­rors need to be split into two dis­tinct ar­eas – those which are gen­uine mis­takes and those which are out­right fraud­u­lent claims.

There needs to be tighter con­trols in place to pre­vent this kind of thing hap­pen­ing in fu­ture.

This is a tremen­dous amount of money which has gone miss­ing and some­one needs to be held to ac­count.

The sit­u­a­tion at the time was blind panic and many peo­ple had no idea what was go­ing to hap­pen to their busi­nesses or jobs. How­ever that is no ex­cuse for these fraud­u­lent claims.

Nigel Hol­land, via email

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