Results 1–20 of 7279 for speaker:George Eustice

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time. The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to pass legislation to protect animals with the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act 1822. In 1876, we were the first country to pass legislation regulating experiments on animals. In 1875, we were the first country to introduce measures to improve conditions in slaughterhouses. This House...

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: We have had many pieces of legislation; I sought in the time I had to list some of the key ones, including the 2006 Act. How we treat animals, and the legislation we have to govern animal welfare, is a hallmark of a civilised society. We should be constantly looking to improve and refine our legislation in this area. That is why the Government have committed to introducing this new law on...

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: I think this matter was dealt with extensively by my noble Friend, Lord Benyon. The key thing is that an adverse effect can mean a failure to make a change or consider a change that would have a positive impact on the welfare of animals, so I do not share any concerns about that expression. I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Neil Parish) for his Committee’s work in...

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: The Bill does include birds, since they are vertebrates, and it includes fish, since they are vertebrates. I point out that those particular animals have been recognised in our law as sentient since at least 1911. I want to be clear about what the Bill does and does not do. While its aim is to improve the policy and decision-making processes of Government, the committee’s reports will not...

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: As I said, we do not believe that the Bill creates a cause of action for judicial review, for the simple reason that the obligation on a Minister is to respond to the report within three months, and that response can deal with any recommendation or observation put forward by the committee.

Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill [Lords] (18 Jan 2022)

George Eustice: Yes. As I set out at the beginning of the debate, the United Kingdom has always been a world leader in animal welfare. We were the first country in the world to introduce animal welfare legislation; we recognised the sentience of animals as long ago as 1822. We have been in the vanguard of new legislation in the area over time, and the Bill demonstrates our continued leadership. Our approach...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Environment Act 2021: Implementation (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: May I begin by welcoming the new shadow Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Oldham West and Royton (Jim McMahon), to his place? I am sure that, like all of us, he will find that the rich and colourful diversity of the issues in the portfolio means that there is never a dull moment. I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Luke Pollard) for his two years in...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Environment Act 2021: Implementation (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: I thank my hon. Friend for his work on the important issue of improving water quality. The Under-Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Taunton Deane (Rebecca Pow), shares his passion for improving chalk streams in particular. We have made it clear to water companies that they must significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows as a priority. We have set out that...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Environment Act 2021: Implementation (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: I know that there are the benefits that he mentions from growing hemp. Licences for medical hemp is an issue that the Home Office leads on, but it is an interesting crop; more people are starting to look at it and grow it. The hon. Gentleman raises an important point.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Environment Act 2021: Implementation (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Biodiversity net gain will be an important policy tool to support work in local nature recovery strategies and make space for nature in new developments. On his point about timing, I think the measure will take effect in 2023 and will apply at that point to applications going for determination when it is active.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Environment Act 2021: Implementation (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: As the hon. Lady will know, we have a significant number of staff—more than 10,000—in the Environment Agency. Waste crime and fly-tipping have been a priority for them, and a number of successful prosecutions have been brought.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Water Quality (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: Improving water quality is a priority for this Government. We are the first Government to work to tackle the historic issue of storm overflows, including by placing a duty on water companies through our landmark Environment Act 2021. That duty builds on the expectation for the water industry to achieve a significant reduction in harm from storm overflows, as laid out in our draft strategic...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Water Quality (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. I can confirm that the new draft strategic policy statement that we have issued to Ofwat states that there is a clear priority around reducing storm overflows and delivering our environmental outcomes. Yes, in the next price review, such infrastructure will be at the top of its list of priorities.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Basic Payment Scheme: Farmers’ Income (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: Farm incomes have grown significantly since 2016, as farm-gate prices in sectors such as beef, sheep and arable have risen to record highs. This Government are also delivering their manifesto pledge to maintain the agriculture budget throughout this Parliament but to spend it more effectively. Farmers will have access to new funds next year to help them invest to reduce costs and to manage...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Basic Payment Scheme: Farmers’ Income (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: We have designed the sustainable farming incentive so that it is accessible to tenant farmers, and we have worked closely with the Tenant Farmers Association on that. As is always the case, even some of the agri-environment schemes we had while we were a member of the EU would have been carried out by the landlord—some of those investments and things such as land use change. However, the...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Basic Payment Scheme: Farmers’ Income (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Last year, we made some funding available to a range of consultants and advisers across the country to help support all farmers with the transition. That advice is available, and I can write to her to make sure that she can relay it to her constituents.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floor Risk Management: Inner Cities (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: I regularly meet the chair of the Environment Agency to discuss flood risk management, and indeed I spoke to its board yesterday. We have doubled our investment in flood and coastal erosion defence to £5.2 billion, to better protect 336,000 properties across the country by 2027. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will welcome investment, for instance, in the new flood storage areas on the...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floor Risk Management: Inner Cities (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: I discussed this issue with the Environment Agency board yesterday. It is that time of year when being alert to flood risk is absolutely at the top of our priorities, and I visited the flood response centre at Horizon House in Bristol earlier in the autumn. So we stand ready; sadly, we have got quite used to flood response, but we have a good team responding to this now and they are ready for...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Floor Risk Management: Inner Cities (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: First, may I apologise for my oversight in not welcoming the hon. Gentleman to his place at the beginning of this session? We have made available £5.2 billion, and this is a significant increase in the capital programme over the next few years. Included in that is some dedicated work on property resilience, where we are working with communities and flood forums locally to identify how we can...

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Topical Questions (9 Dec 2021)

George Eustice: Each year, the UK faces a seasonal risk of the incursion of avian influenza associated with migratory wild birds. Although we have that threat each year, this year we are seeing the largest-ever outbreak of avian influenza in the UK, with 36 confirmed cases—the largest number since last year, when we had 26. We have put in place an avian influenza prevention zone, which came into force on...


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