Extinction Rebellion Mass Trespass
The climate change campaign group Extinction Rebellion has proposed a mass trespass of farmland to take place on 24th April. Originally conceived to be in one or two locations, plans have changed due to Covi-19 restrictions. ‘This Land is our Land’ encourages people to walk across private land to commemorate the Kinder Scout mass trespass in 1932 and to highlight the ‘criminal misuse’ of land by deforestation and the burning of heather moorland. Whilst it is claimed that farmers are not the target, this is further evidence that Extinction Rebellion’s emphasis has changed from climate change to broader radical social issues. The campaign has been roundly condemned, not least by the CLA.
Lead Shot Consultation
Defra has announced a consultation on the phasing out of lead ammunition. It is the start of a two year programme by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive to review all the evidence and propose options for restrictions. This comes one year after proposals by shooting organisations for a voluntary phasing out of lead ammunition within five years. Several leading supermarkets have committed to sell only lead-free game from next season, whilst cartridge manufacturers are working hard to ensure that alternative products are available.
Closed Season for Hares?
There have been reports that Defra is planning to introduce a closed season for hares in England. Secretary of State George Eustice is known to be in favour. Whilst the idea is to protect hares during the mating season, it is not clear what dates are proposed. In Scotland there is a closed season between 1st February and 30th September. Whilst the hare population fell from around 4 million in 1880 to around 800,000 today, it has been recovering in recent years and in counties such as Lincolnshire numbers need to be controlled to protect crops. It is said that four hares can eat as much as one sheep and February was always the time for excess numbers to be culled. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has condemned the move as not being supported by scientific evidence.
Lords Condemn Export Bureaucracy
An Environment sub-committee of the House of Lords has warned that the refusal by the European Union to grant ‘equivalence of standards’ to some agri-food products and the excessive bureaucracy surrounding exports to the EU threatens the profitability of the British food and farming sector.