...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...
Taffy2: You might be surprised but this is taken from the Commons debate on High Speed 2 last Tuesday 10th Jan. Your MP spoke up for Nature then.
Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) (Con): Today’s announcement has been welcomed by the business community in my constituency, including the chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire local enterprise partnership, but many people are rightly concerned about the countryside. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is vital to safeguard the countryside and its wildlife as far as possible for all the people who are living there today, as well as for those who will be living there tomorrow?
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