Secretary of State’s powers to give financial assistance

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 30th October 2018.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East 3:15 pm, 30th October 2018

My hon. Friend the Member for Bristol West is now vegan as well—in fact, three of the four Bristol MPs are vegan. She is completely vegan and a model of good health.

The second condition for receiving funding should be membership of a comprehensive assurance scheme. The RSPCA assured scheme covers all aspects of welfare and has genuinely high standards and rigorous monitoring arrangements. I am not so sure about other assurance schemes, which have been criticised. We need to clarify what the criteria would be.

I want to finish by talking about a few things that Compassion in World Farming has mentioned as additional standards and perhaps the sorts of things that farmers should get additional funding for. On pigs, it says:

“Funding should be available for farmers who achieve intact tails”— that is, neither docked nor bitten tails. It continues:

“Getting pigs to slaughter with intact tails is recognised by the Farm Animal Welfare Council and others as a reliable outcome based indicator of good welfare.”

In Lower Saxony, I am told, farmers are paid €16.5 per undocked pig under its curled tail bonus scheme. Is that the sort of thing that we could look at rewarding farmers for here?