The Sustainable Livestock Bill

What?

Six of Britain’s top ten restaurants are calling for the law to be changed so that dairy and beef farmers are forced to improve welfare standards and the public are encouraged to eat less meat.

Since when did we let the servants tell us what the law should be?

As to the bill itself:

The Secretary of State has a duty to ensure that the steps taken in accordance
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with this Act do not lead to an increase in the proportion of meat consumed in
the United Kingdom which is imported.

Apologies, but you just cannot do things like that: it\’s illegal. EU law inists upon the free movement of goods and EU law trumps whatever gets passed in Westminster.

I wouldn\’t be at all surprised to find out that the basis of the whole bill is illegal: given how farming matters are for Brussels, not the likes of our elected politicians.

10 thoughts on “The Sustainable Livestock Bill”

  1. Hmmm… I think you will find that, technically, goods moving inside the free market are not “imported” – this term is only used for stuff coming in from third countries (ie outside the EU).

    Nonetheless, your point stands – barriers to trade with third countries are a matter for Brussels, not Westminster.

  2. Less meat but of higher quality -> higher prices better margin -> more profit. Am I being cynical and thinking they have more intelligence than they actually have and sneaking a fast one through or are they doing the usual authoritarian stuff and just getting cheap publicity for their restuarants.

  3. There’s a surprise. Your quoted “journalist” is Louise Gray. She has evidently – and not for the first time – inserted a Friends of the Earth press release into the Telegraph under her byline and called it “news”.

  4. Growing food is one of the few industries we have that actually creates real value from locally produced raw materials.

    We can outsource this just fine, just along with everything else that we do, no worries… as Tim says, unless there is a prohobition on beef (steak, the new street drug!) it’s illegal to keep out other countries produce.

    Also, don’t you worry about outsourcing everything we can do you clueless Luddites… IIRC there are a handful of IQ> 190 Einsteins in London that just about are good enough to compete with the rest of the world in a globalised market, and no doubt, they’ll earn enough to keep the rest of us Patzers alive on their alms.

    ;-P

  5. Caution, farmer with axe to grind alert!!!

    The trouble is that people like to control how food is produced in this country (lots of rules on livestock welfare, environmental protection etc etc), but then are quite happy to go down to Tesco and eat food produced in conditions that would not be allowed here, because its cheaper.

    I call that hypocrisy. Make your minds up – if you want lots of rules to apply here, enforce the same ones on the stuff coming in from abroad. Food WILL be more expensive if you do this.

    Or you can allow stuff in from wherever, at cheap prices, but let the UK farmers at least have a chance to compete by using the same production methods. This WILL result in lower animal health & environmental standards.

    One or the other please, but not both.

    I know all this is pie in the sky as Brussels decides everything on agricultural matters, but a man can dream of a day when the UK Parliament makes its own rules, can’t he?

  6. Could you explain how it is illegal? I don’t see this as saying “The Secretary of State shall do something to interefere with the free movement of goods in Europe” – which is what you say would be illegal.

    It simply says “you need to satisfy yourself that the thing you are planning to do will not lead to additional movement of goods. If it does, then stay as you are.”

    Is that really illegal? Does Brussels law really say that Government cannot keep laws as they are, and has to keep doing things that lead to more and more imports? Sounds unlikely.

    Jim – I have some sympathy, and I presume that is what this clause is trying to prevent. If setting a welfare standard that means more stuff gets imported from countries that don’t have that standard, you are not helping animal welfare. At least the MP who drafted this Bill realises that and tries to address it.

  7. SadButMadLad – One of the more informed criticisms of this bill was about the food consumption of the poor in this country if meat prices go up – so if they are trying to pull a fast one as you suggest, they may not get too far.

    It was the same argument with organic veg, good food is, well, good, but it’s expensive and that’s the problem. But when Supermarkets battle with competitors to lower costs, they end up ripping off farmers – like with milk, where some farmers were running at losses so as to keep the only contracts available.

    It’s a difficult debate, and though the bill didn’t get through, it’s still incumbent upon the government to enact most of its demands.

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