BY STEVE GRANT Much has already been said and written about the Conservative Party’s new found love for animal welfare and, more worryingly for supporters of countrysports, animal rights. These worries deepened following the publication of Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare. This spelled out the Government’s plans to formally recognise animals as sentient beings in UK law for the first time – a clear … Continue reading AR Lobbyists & the Tories
BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ Once again a golf club – not a working-class football club or rugby league club – has found itself under siege by animal rights extremists. Muswell Hill Golf Club was targeted last year by the extremists, and it seems the same is now happening to others. Clubs are being bombarded on social media with toxic/bunny hugging memes and their … Continue reading Bunny Huggers Target Golf Clubs
BY JIM WEBSTER On the twelfth of February a friend of mine posted a quite spectacular photo of a fire on Dartmoor: This is an accident waiting to happen. Winter wildfires are not unusual. At the same time firefighters were tackling a fire near the Cogra Moss reservoir, in West Cumbria (hence the photo from one of our local papers.) In Scotland, the Scottish … Continue reading Winter Wildfires
CSM EDITORIAL Images of dumb Americans posing beside the corpses of lions and other animals they have shot dead on ‘hunting holidays’ appals most people. There’s an overriding sense of a terrible waste of the animal’s life. It’s easy to feel hate towards the killers just as it’s easy to feel hate towards poachers who kill rhinos and elephants – alongside other wildlife – mostly … Continue reading Shouldn’t We All Think Twice?
BY DAVID EYLES Right. That’s it. I’ve had enough. What follows may well turn into a Jonathan Pie-type expletive-riddled rant. I make no apologies to those sensitive flowers who might read this article and feel a little faint. That’s tough. Go and read Winnie The Pooh if you are feeling a little peaky. The thing that has triggered me, the thing that has finally caused … Continue reading Signals of Contempt
BY CHARLES MACKIE The biggest threats to farming that a no-deal could bring are traditionally quoted as follows: Loss of a tariff-free market. The UK will by default revert to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules until Free Trade agreements are signed. This will require goods to be exported and imported under the Most Favoured Nation rules with a range of tariffs applied to those goods. … Continue reading No Deal Benefits for Farmers
BY BEN EAGLE It was with a sigh of relief that I learned that Michael Gove was not moving to the Department for Exiting the European Union last week. Quite understandably most people were probably focused on the destination rather than the starting line. However, my eyes, as usual, were pointing towards Defra. The last thing that food, farming and the environment needs at this … Continue reading We Need Stability at DEFRA
BY JAMIE FOSTER The badger cull could be extended into low risk areas in England where badgers have been connected to outbreaks of TB by the autumn if licences are approved by Natural England. Despite opposition from the Badger Trust and other animal rights groups, Defra under Michael Gove has decided to carry on with the cull as part of the overall strategy to manage … Continue reading Gove Sticking to His Guns
BY BEN EAGLE Anybody involved in British agriculture should have accepted by now that the days for direct payments based on land area are limited in number. Instead we will be embracing a system of ‘public payments for public goods’, whatever that means. Although Michael Gove has in recent weeks offered a trickle of potential policy changes and words of general direction, there has been … Continue reading The End of Direct Payments?
BY BEN EAGLE I admit it, I’m a Gove convert. However, when he was appointed to his role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Cabinet reshuffle of June last year I took a big gulp and expected the worst. I was highly sceptical, looking back on his history in the Department for Education and his status as a Leave … Continue reading Converting to Gove
BY JIM BROWNE Not that they would ever wish to be seen to be interfering in our lives, the Government has seen fit in the past to draw up a Countryside Code which covers the basics of closing gates and not dropping litter. Respect – Protect – Enjoy is their catchy slogan. No doubt thought out at our expense across several weeks of meetings at … Continue reading The CSM Countryside Code