Meat in Car Wash
Environmental Health Officers in Wiltshire have seized over five tonnes of meat being illegally processed in ‘grossly unhygienic conditions’. The first raid on a site near Devizes in October found 2.7 tonnes of beef, lamb and goat meat in a vehicle workshop and hand car wash. A second raid on another car wash run by the same operator, this time at Ludgershall last month, found 2.4 tonnes. The meat, destined for sale to the public, has been condemned and destroyed as a potential health hazard. The activity was not registered with the Food Standard Agency and the conditions were said to have shocked the officials.
Beware Floods in the New Year
The Environment Agency has urged the public to be vigilant in the light of threats of floods in the New Year. The long range forecast is for a dry and sunny Christmas period but then a long period of wetter than usual weather stretching through January into February. The Met Office said it was too early to tell whether February 2021 would bring more rainfall than the sodden and flooded February 2020. The Environment Agency admitted that, in some cases, damage to flood defences caused last winter had yet to be completed.
Land Reform in Scotland
The Scottish Government continues its land reform programme with proposals for a land value tax. The recommendation is included in a report commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission. It suggests that taxes on land and property could help Scotland develop a robust resilient economy, urgently needed after the impact of Covid-19. Not surprisingly, NFU Scotland has roundly condemned the proposal.
Review of the Countryside Code
Natural England has brought forward a review of the Countryside Code in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic this year. There are three versions of the code, short and long editions for the public and additional information for land managers. The short version was amended in the summer to reflect public access to the countryside during lockdown. This comes at a time of repeated calls for a dramatic expansion of the right to roam in England.