Results 1–20 of 1246 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Zac Goldsmith

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Regulations to deal with deficiencies arising from withdrawal - Independent Report (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: My right hon. Friend makes a brilliant speech. [Laughter.] I cannot disagree with a single word that he has said. I strongly agree with him. The main sticking point is not the aspirations of the Secretary of State to build an independent body that is sufficiently resourced to hold the powerful to account in the way that he has described. The issue is timing and trust. Exactly the same...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: I beg to move, That this House has considered the Government policy on animal welfare. It is a pleasure to speak under your chairmanship, Mr Robertson. It is often said that we are a nation of animal lovers and in many respects we are a world leader in animal welfare. That is something we can be proud of. In the months since the general election we have seen a blizzard of activity from the...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: My right hon. Friend makes the point well and I agree with him. It was reported two weeks ago, as hon. Members will remember, that MPs had voted as if they felt that animals do not have feelings. That story took on a life of its own. It became a forest fire on social media. In fact, it became the top political story of the year. I have to say, notwithstanding what he has just said, it is a...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: I could not agree more with my hon. Friend and I will making that point in more detail shortly. The new Bill that was announced at midnight last night will also increase the maximum jail terms for animal abusers from six months to five years. Both of those commitments are enormously welcome. It is great news and I can hardly exaggerate my thanks to the Secretary of State for the breathtaking...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: I could not agree more with my hon. Friend and I thank him for making that point. The Secretary of State has said: “As we leave the European Union there are opportunities for us to go further and to improve… animal welfare”. Of course, he is right. For example—this goes to the point my hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (John Lamont) was...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: My hon. Friend makes an extremely important point. I am reassured by a number of statements that have been made by the Secretary of State in relation to that. Putting sentience into UK law across the entire range of Government policies will also help us ensure that we do not lower our standards in return for trade deals.

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: That is a very good point. The sentience principle in EU law has been held up by some as a gold standard, but it is a gold standard that has allowed foie gras, veal production, fur farming, in some cases donkey torture, bull fighting and much more besides. It is not a gold standard. We are setting a gold standard. We are going to go so much further, which we should be proud of. Returning to...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: That is exactly right. That has been a barrier all the way along from the Government’s point of view. However, they can now begin to take that best practice and make it the norm. I would like to see them commit to using their vast buying power to boost the most sustainable and highest animal welfare standards. When I first raised this point in Parliament as a new MP seven years or so...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: Well, we normally agree, and I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. I do not believe that there is anything like enough evidence to justify culling tens of thousands of native wild animals, the vast majority of which are disease-free. This year is likely to see a trebling in the number of badgers culled, and yet in Wales, where no general culls are taking place, TB has halved. In the...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: I am going to move on, but the chief veterinary officer in Wales takes a different view.

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: She wants selective, as opposed to general, preventive culls, and that is different to our approach here in England.

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: Our approach is not selective. There are huge numbers of animals involved, The approach in England is a preventive cull, as opposed to a selective cull. My view is that at the very least the Government should suspend the cull and commission a proper study into the alternatives, so that we can be sure that the policy we adopt is based on science, and not assumption. I shall hold off on taking...

Animal Welfare (12 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: I thank the hon. Lady very much for her intervention, and I could not agree with her more strongly. I pay tribute to Marc Abraham who led the campaign for Lucy’s law. It is probably inappropriate to mention that I can see him in the Public Gallery, but he has been an absolute champion for the cause. I believe that we will see some results in the next few months and will perhaps hear...

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (7 Dec 2017)

Zac Goldsmith: There was huge applause for the Government’s decision to ban the UK ivory trade, but there is now growing evidence of an increase in the trade in hippo ivory. With only 100,000 or so African hippos left, the slightest increase in demand could spell disaster for that species. May I urge Ministers to extend the proposed ban to include other ivory-bearing species such as hippo, narwhal,...

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