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Clear Government strategy needed to help farmers move away from intensive animal farming

News Section Icon Published 26/01/2023

  • Today’s (26th January) announcement from Defra, sets out new details on subsidy schemes aimed at supporting farmers through the Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs). These include standards for areas such as soil, grassland and hedgerow management.
  • Further measures are expected to be announced in the spring, regarding grants allocated under the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway.
  • Disappointingly, today’s announcement seems unlikely to deliver fundamental and significant changes needed to British farming.
  • We urge the Government to ensure that the expansion of grants is used for genuinely improving animal welfare, helping farmers move to farming systems that are no longer based on cruel intensive methods, such as the use of crates and cages.
  • Farmers need a clear indication that the Government intends to deliver a more sustainable food system, and that they will be supported in achieving that, so that they can plan their own future.

Nick Palmer, Head of Compassion in World Farming UK, said:

“While Compassion welcomes the further clarification of subsidy schemes available for farmers to incentivise measures that help protect soils and nature, what’s needed is a more coherent overall strategy that will deliver genuinely sustainable farming.

“These new measures will not significantly shift the dial to secure the rapid and far-reaching changes needed. To properly address the climate emergency by a strategic switch to regenerative farming.

“Defra has promised further details of the Animal Health and Welfare Pathway in the spring. If these grants are to deliver better welfare, as the name suggests, then it is essential that they support farmers in moving away from the worst examples of factory farming, by banning the use of cages for hens and farrowing crates for pigs.”

For further information or to book an interview, contact Compassion in World Farming’s Media Team: 01483 521 615


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