Outlaw these food imports
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