...if they fail to comply with European regulations". That was the message from the Prime Minister in the second part of his interview with John Craven on Countryfile last night. If you missed it, you can watch it again here. He was talking at the time about animal welfare standards. I wonder if he feels the same about those Member States that have yet to establish a comprehensive network of protected in the marine environment as determined by the EU Birds and Habitats Directives?
He also supported the "difficult" decision of announcing two pilot areas "as part of a balanced package of measures" to tackling bovine tuberculosis. I look forward to seeing the rest of the package.
But, I must not be too sniffy, I was pleased that the Prime Minister (the first?) agreed to be interviewed on Countryfile. It suggests that it is politically important for him to be seen to be engaged in rural issues. And while it was disappointing that John failed to ask any questions excplicitly about wildlife, in my mind it reinforces the need for NGOs and their members to continue to pressure politicians to be as good at it can be on protecting the environment. Unless the voters tell their elected representatives about their concerns for the environment, can we really blame them if they direct their energy onto other pressing matters?
So, my advice to anyone that reads this and cares about nature - make your local MP your pen pal. Tell her or him what you think about how the goverment is getting on protecting wildlife and tackling climate change, tell her or him about the species or special places that matter to you and are at risk from planning reforms, tell her or him that the Habitats Regulations are an appropriate test of sustainable development and tell her or him about your frustration that we still have no comprehensive network of European sites in the marine environment. And tell her or him that you'll be in touch again soon.
Have a good week. And do tell me if you will be writing to your MP sometime soon...
Very disappointing that Mr Cameron's only references to biodiversity were to the shooting of badgers and the hunting of foxes. He was also misleading on badgers. He stated that the Government wanted healthy badgers and healthy cattle - a nice sound bite but Defra have stated that their policy is not about improving badger health. Culling badgers will actually result in a higher proportion of the remaining population carrying TB. If he really wants a healthy badger population he should be getting behind badger vaccination. Pity John Craven didn't ask him to explain how shooting badgers will be good for their health. I will see whether my MP will take it up with the PM.
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