George eustice

Animal Sentience Bill rears its head again

So, here we are then. Despite a monstering in the Lords and near-universal condemnation across the press, the Animal Sentience Bill has reared its ugly head once more, returning to the Commons today for its Second Reading. The flagship legislation, which Mr S has covered extensively, is designed to protect helpless creatures and recognise they can feel pain by creating a new super-committee to judge the effects of government policies. Proposed amendments mean that shellfish are to be included; hapless ministers forced to defend them are not. As Steerpike has pointed out repeatedly, animal welfare has been recognised in British law for 200 years The government has been caught between

The problem with rewilding

The government has gone wild. Under new plans, just announced by Environment Secretary George Eustice, farmers and landowners in England could be paid to turn large areas of land into nature reserves and restore floodplains. In place of the old EU subsidies, farmers will be rewarded by the government for how much they care for the environment. It sounds like a wonderful idea — a return to a glorious, prelapsarian wilderness. But it’s a little more complicated than that. Eustice referred warmly to the poster boy of rewilding, the Knepp estate in West Sussex. I’ve been to Knepp and it is indeed glorious. Nightingales have returned, accompanied by clouds of Purple

Ben Wallace battles the animal lobby

As George Eustice struggles to kill Geronimo the alpaca, his Cabinet colleague Ben Wallace is facing a different fight with the animal rights lobby. Faced with the calamity of Kabul, the end of Afghanistan and the potential disintegration of the Western alliance, you might have thought the Defence Secretary already has enough on his plate.  But now the former Scots Guard officer has incurred the wrath of over-zealous zoophilists over the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to allow a charted plane to evacuate animals out of the country. The animal lovers in question belong to the Nowzad sanctuary, which rescues donkeys, cats and dogs in Afghanistan. Run by former Royal Marine Paul Farthing – known as ‘Pen’ – the charity

Could crabs be next on the menu for a Defra ban?

It has been a difficult 2021 for the British shellfish industry. Since the end of the Brexit transition period, fishermen have had to contend with new rules which mean that live mussels, cockles, oysters and other shellfish caught in most of the UK’s waters are no longer allowed to enter the EU. Legal action against the government has been mooted, with environment secretary George Eustice accused of misleading the industry over its post-Brexit arrangements. Given this context and the fact many fishermen live in Tory coastal seats, you might have thought the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) would be doing all it can to reassure the industry. So Mr

Sunday shows round-up: Cameron’s behaviour ‘is acceptable’, says Environment Secretary

George Eustice – David Cameron’s behaviour ‘is acceptable’ Both Andrew Marr and Sophy Ridge were joined this morning by the Environment Secretary George Eustice – and much of their conversations focused on the recent lobbying debacle sparked by the former Prime Minister’s texts to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Cameron was attempting to secure support loans on behalf of the financial services firm Greensill Capital, but was unsuccessful and the business filed for insolvency in March. Marr questioned Eustice over whether the current lobbying rules were too soft and ineffectual: AM: Do you think that what David Cameron has done is acceptable? GE: …Well, it is acceptable because [it was] within