Carola Godman Irvine. Farmer, Campaigner & Columnist. 11-08-21

  • Written by Carola Godman Irvine
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2021
  • Articles

The United Kingdom has more than 5,000 acres of vineyards, the major concentration of which are in the Southeast being warm and fairly dry – who would have guessed!

A significant planting of new vines has occurred in the 21st century, although the combined sales of British wine remain just 1per cent of the domestic market.

Hambledon in Hampshire spearheaded the wine revival back in the 1950s. Since when many new vineyards have sprung up across the country, including in Yorkshire.

The closest to Ote Hall is Ridgeview on the outskirts of Ditchling. The Roberts family established their business on the edge of the South Downs in 1995, focusing solely on the production of sparkling wines. They, like many vineyards offer tours, tastings, and the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of sparkling wine and a light snack.

The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill making its way through parliament with further reforms due, is causing concern amongst a wide range of communities including farmers, fishermen, field sport enthusiasts, restauranters, zoos, the equestrian and racing fraternity, and many others besides.

It is clear the government has not considered the unintended consequences of embarking on this toxic legislation which stems from when Britain was transposing EU laws onto the statute books in preparation for Brexit.

This Bill declares amongst the details that vertebrates are sentient beings. A permanent committee will have the power to create its own rules telling the government what to do, will be set up. As Daniel Hannan said, “Frankly, it might as well declare that water expands when frozen, and this committee is established to ensure that the government has due regard to that fact.”

No one disputes that animals are sentient. They obviously feel things and perceive the world around them.

However, the bill fails to recognise that our laws already established that fact. The United Kingdom has some of the oldest and strongest animal welfare legislation anywhere in the world, stretching back to the nineteenth century.

Existing legislation, unlike this proposed bill, is proportionate and purposeful and it balances the welfare of different kinds of animals. It distinguishes between pets and pests, between livestock and wild fauna. As Daniel Hannan also said, “In reality not all animals are equal.”

We already have an Animal Welfare Committee to advise on the humane treatment of animals. So why do we need this new legislation? The answer, although it is a poor reason for creating this nightmare which will inevitably arise if all this reaches the statute books, is because Labour scurrilously claimed that the Tories had voted “against” animal sentience. The government panicked when this was reported by the left-wing press despite being untrue. The result is this Trojan Horse in the shape of this unnecessary bill which is playing into the hands of animal rights activists.

This legislation is being introduced in response to fake news. If animal sentience becomes the test of every policy, who knows where it will lead.

We left the EU to take power back from bureaucrats in Brussels, and if this legislation goes through, that power will be handed over not to our elected MPs but to unelected bureaucrats in Whitehall.

The eventual outcome could result in farmers being banned from keeping livestock, and fishermen and anglers from catching fish?

Restaurants could be prohibited from serving fresh lobster, crab, or oysters and horse racing could be consigned to the history books. We could face a future without our domestic pets, one where our children are forbidden from riding a pony.

I wonder if the Prime Minister has considered that this bill could result in young Wilfred being deprived of the companionship of Dilyn?

This may all seem somewhat extreme but if certain people get their way, such a future could well be on the cards.

To read Carola’s columns in full, go to: www.carolagodmanirvine.com