Westminster Tractor Demo

Our Tractors Return to Westminster!

On October 12th Save British Farming organised our second Westminster Demo.  As tractors and other farm vehicles mustered at New Covent Garden, MPs in the Commons began a debate on Amendment 16 – whether to include standards in the new Agriculture Bill.  Our ‘tractorcade’ wended its way along the south embankment to Lambeth Bridge where it crossed and made its way to Smith’s Square, home to the government’s DEFRA offices.  The BBC and other press were waiting, along with some politicians including Luke Pollard – Labour’s shadow DEFRA minster, and Tim Farron who holds a similar position in the Lib Dems.

Labour Shadow DEFRA minister, Luke Pollard, with SBF volunteers, Anna & Emma

From there, they went back over Lambeth Bridge, crossed Westminster Bridge and made their way to Trafalgar Square, before passing Downing Street and entering Parliament Square for a few rotations.

After the demo, tractors were directed to Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament where the press was waiting to interview those who took part. 

All in all, it was a great day, with a great publicity both on national news and in the national press the next day.

Unfortunately, the government whipped Conservative MPs to vote down the amendment, with only 14 rebelling.

The Lords will send another similar amendment back to the Commons, and we’ll be there when it arrives.


Mark Haller on American food standards

Is American food safe?

Mark Haller who lived in the US for some time talks about American food standards.


World Food Safety Day

Today is World Food Safety Day, and with trade negotiations with the US at a crucial stage.

In the US, a lack of effective animal welfare and food safety laws result in shockingly high rates of food-borne illness.

From the Daily Mail: “

Britain has some of the world’s best food safety regulations. But it’s important to remember that when it comes to food scares and crises – from salmonella in eggs to listeria in cheese – we have had a chequered past.

“It took an extraordinary national effort to reach the enviable position we now hold, with laws protecting the consumer, the farmer and our animals. We must not betray them now.”

50 million Americans get sick from their food every year.