Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Jim McMahon (LAB - Oldham West and Royton)
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Liberal Democrat
Tim Farron (LDEM - Westmorland and Lonsdale)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Labour
Baroness Jones of Whitchurch (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Labour
Baroness Hayman of Ullock (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Scottish National Party
Deidre Brock (SNP - Edinburgh North and Leith)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Daniel Zeichner (LAB - Cambridge)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Alex Sobel (LAB - Leeds North West)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Ruth Jones (LAB - Newport West)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Ministers of State
Victoria Prentis (CON - Banbury)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Rebecca Pow (CON - Taunton Deane)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lord Benyon (CON - Life peer)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Jo Churchill (CON - Bury St Edmunds)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 18th May 2022
14:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
18 May 2022, 2:30 p.m.
The draft Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (Amendment) Order 2022
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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 14th June 2022
14:00
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
14 Jun 2022, 2 p.m.

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Scheduled Event
Thursday 23rd June 2022
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral questions - Main Chamber
23 Jun 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Select Committee Docs
Friday 20th May 2022
00:00
Call for Evidence
Call For Evidence
Select Committee Inquiry
Thursday 12th May 2022
Written Answers
Tuesday 17th May 2022
Animal Products: Imports
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's Action Plan for …
Secondary Legislation
Wednesday 11th May 2022
Common Agricultural Policy (Cross-Compliance Exemptions and Transitional Regulation) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2022
These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8 of, and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 …
Bills
Tuesday 8th June 2021
Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the welfare of certain kept animals that are in, imported into, or exported from …
Dept. Publications
Wednesday 18th May 2022
11:21

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Apr. 28
Oral Questions
Oct. 28
Urgent Questions
Apr. 25
Westminster Hall
Jan. 25
Adjournment Debate
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament


A Bill to make provision about the welfare of certain kept animals that are in, imported into, or exported from Great Britain.

Commons - 60%

Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 11th May 2022
(Read Debate)

Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament


A Bill to make provision for an Animal Sentience Committee with functions relating to the effect of government policy on the welfare of animals as sentient beings

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 28th April 2022 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; for statements and reports about environmental protection; for the Office for Environmental Protection; about waste and resource efficiency; about air quality; for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; about water; about nature and biodiversity; for conservation covenants; about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Tuesday 9th November 2021 and was enacted into law.


A bill to make provision in relation to fisheries, fishing, aquaculture and marine conservation; to make provision about the functions of the Marine Management Organisation; and for connected purposes

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 23rd November 2020 and was enacted into law.


This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 11th November 2020 and was enacted into law.


To make provision for the incorporation of the Direct Payments Regulation into domestic law; for enabling an increase in the total maximum amount of direct payments under that Regulation; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 30th January 2020 and was enacted into law.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8 of, and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16) (in particular under section 8(2)(a), (b), (d) and (g)) in order to address failures in retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. These Regulations extend to the United Kingdom but apply only in England and in Northern Ireland except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (4) and (5) of regulation 1.
These Regulations make adjustments to the level of European seabass that may be caught as a by-catch within British fishery limits.
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secondary Legislation

Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Trending Petitions
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(3,727 in the last 7 days)
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109,322 Signatures
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Petitions with most signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


10 Members of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
Derek Thomas Portrait
Derek Thomas (Conservative - St Ives)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Julian Sturdy Portrait
Julian Sturdy (Conservative - York Outer)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Sheryll Murray Portrait
Sheryll Murray (Conservative - South East Cornwall)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Robbie Moore Portrait
Robbie Moore (Conservative - Keighley)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Neil Hudson Portrait
Neil Hudson (Conservative - Penrith and The Border)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Rosie Duffield Portrait
Rosie Duffield (Labour - Canterbury)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Geraint Davies Portrait
Geraint Davies (Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ian Byrne Portrait
Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Barry Gardiner Portrait
Barry Gardiner (Labour - Brent North)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 8th June 2020
Kirsty Blackman Portrait
Kirsty Blackman (Scottish National Party - Aberdeen North)
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Member since 5th January 2022
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee - Private Meeting
14 Jun 2022, 2 p.m.
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50 most recent Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department

11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including organic farming system standards including zero-use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides in the (a) nutrient management and (b) integrated pest management Sustainable Farming Incentive standards.

We recognise the benefits that organic farming can offer to the wider environment. We are currently exploring how the Sustainable Farming Incentive can reward organic producers and those wishing to convert to organic systems in line with the payment principles we published in June 2021 – including considerations of whether to introduce a future organic standard, which provides an easily accessible, holistic package for organic farmers.

Organic farmers, like all types of farmers, can take part in the early rollout of the Sustainable Farming Incentive and are likely to be well placed to adopt the higher levels of ambition in the soils’ standards and other standards in development such as Integrated Pest Management due to the specific farming practices they undertake. Organic producers can also join the Countryside Stewardship scheme in addition to a Sustainable Farming Incentive agreement. This is subject to the normal rules around not being paid for the same action twice, and not being paid to undertake incompatible actions on the same parcel of land.

Our current indicative plan for the introduction of the nutrient management and integrated pest management standards into the scheme will be in 2023. The roll out for organics is 2025. The development of the standards is being informed by stakeholder engagement, including with the organic sector.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what measures he plans to include in the (a) nutrient management and (b) integrated pest management Sustainable Farming Incentive standards.

The Sustainable Farming Incentive will pay farmers for actions they take to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable way, alongside food production. Actions will be grouped into simple packages known as standards, to make it as easy as possible for farmers to identify what actions are best suited to their land.

We are working closely with a range of environmental and agricultural stakeholders to collaboratively design the new standards, so they are fit for purpose.

We will only release standards into the live service when we are confident in their design and our ability to successfully deliver the service. Our current plan for the introduction of the nutrient management and integrated pest management standards into the scheme will be in 2023.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 16 June 2020 to Question 58093 on Glass: Recycling and the consultation response entitled Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging, published on 26 March 2022, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the decision to exclude glass containers from the deposit return scheme on projected glass recycling rates.

Where glass drinks containers are not included in a deposit return scheme (DRS), the Government assesses a recycling rate for all glass packaging of 84% by 2033. Feedback from stakeholders, including representatives of the glass industry, raised concerns that including glass in a DRS could reduce recycling, reduce the products that can be made from recycled glass and increase overall carbon emissions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding his Department has made available to support organisations and charities seeking to make applications for bathing water status.

There is no funding made available but there is guidance to help applicants on gov.uk. The information requested is the minimum needed to assess whether the site meets the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013. My department has committed to revising its guidance to make it clearer and we will reduce burdens where possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding his Department has made available to support local authorities seeking to apply for bathing water status for beaches and waterways in their areas.

There is no funding made available but there is guidance to help applicants on gov.uk. The information requested is the minimum needed to assess whether the site meets the requirements of the Bathing Water Regulations 2013. My department has committed to revising its guidance to make it clearer and we will reduce burdens where possible.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ban the advertising and offering for sale of attractions, activities, or experiences that cause distress to animals, such as low welfare elephant venues.

We will bring forward one of the toughest bans on the import of hunting trophies in the world and we are exploring a range of legislative options to further protect animals abroad.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason an Animals Abroad Bill was not included in the Queen’s Speech; and if he will take steps to introduce a ban on the (a) advertising and (b) offering for sale of (i) attractions, (ii) activities and (iii) experiences at low-welfare elephant venues.

We will bring forward one of the toughest bans on the import of hunting trophies in the world and we are exploring a range of legislative options to further protect animals abroad.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's Action Plan for Animal Welfare, published in May 2021, what plans his Department has to ban the import of (a) hunting trophies, (b) fur and (c) foie gras.

We will bring forward one of the toughest bans on the import of hunting trophies in the world and we are exploring a range of legislative options to further protect animals abroad.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities tackle litter created as a result of the recreational use of nitrous oxide.

Littering is a criminal offence and in recent years we have bolstered councils’ enforcement powers, such as by almost doubling the maximum fixed penalty for littering from £80 to £150. We have also published guidance for local authorities on the design and placement of bins. Alongside this guidance, we provided nearly £1 million across 44 councils to help them purchase new bins to keep litter off the streets.

Councils also have powers to issue Public Spaces Protection Orders. These are a wide-ranging tool which councils can use to prohibit specified activity in a public place where it has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality, such as the recreational use of nitrous oxide.

Where nitrous oxide is supplied either knowingly or recklessly for its psychoactive effect, the maximum offence under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 is seven years’ imprisonment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 19 April 2022 to Question 148359 on Outdoor Recreation which stated that there are no plans to release the Agnew Review in a consolidated way, if he will place a copy of the (a) final report and (b) recommendations of that review, otherwise known as the Access to the Outdoors Commission, in the Library.

As set out in my answer of 19 April, no formal report was produced by the Access to the Outdoors commission. The outcomes of the commission include £30 million provided through the Spending Review to improve public access to green spaces and better joined up working across government in taking forward a number of policy measures.

These include the development of the UK-wide Levelling Up Parks Fund which will create parks and green spaces on urban land which has become unused, undeveloped or neglected. This Government is investing an unprecedented £2 billion in walking and cycling over this Parliament, building hundreds of miles of high-quality cycle lanes and increasing access to a range of places including green spaces. We have also launched the Department for Education's Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, which includes a commitment to increase opportunities for all children and young people to spend time in nature, learn more about it, and get involved in improving their environment.

The 'Preventing and Tackling Mental Ill Health through Green Social Prescribing' cross-governmental project is testing nature-based social prescribing in seven test and learn sites. The project is working in both rural and urban locations and is helping connect those living in cities with nature.

We are working to complete the England Coast Path, to support our network of National Trails and intend to create a new National Trail across the North of England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on preparations for the implementation of proposed sanitary and phytosanitary checks on food imports from the EU as of 10 May 2022.

Over the last two years Defra has worked with stakeholders and delivery partners to develop the capability to deliver new SPS border controls on goods arriving in England from the EU. The figures below cover IT delivery, staffing costs and infrastructure.

PQ 275 / 276

Implementation Preparations

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Digital Delivery

£10.77m

£0.00m

£10.77m

Includes IPAFFS and proportion of overheads

Imports Policy

£11.17m

£0.15m

£11.32m

Includes Plants and Animals

PHA Fund

£17.56m

£2.50m

£20.06m

£39.50m

£2.65m

£42.15m

Includes funds for PHA staff to end of April 2022

PQ 277/783

BCP Spend to date

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Infrastructure

£30.98m

£0.37m

£31.35m

Includes Sevington and Dover construction only, which are DEFRA funded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the Government's expenditure on preparations for implementing proposed sanitary and phytosanitary checks on food imports from the EU as of 10 May 2022.

Over the last two years Defra has worked with stakeholders and delivery partners to develop the capability to deliver new SPS border controls on goods arriving in England from the EU. The figures below cover IT delivery, staffing costs and infrastructure.

PQ 275 / 276

Implementation Preparations

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Digital Delivery

£10.77m

£0.00m

£10.77m

Includes IPAFFS and proportion of overheads

Imports Policy

£11.17m

£0.15m

£11.32m

Includes Plants and Animals

PHA Fund

£17.56m

£2.50m

£20.06m

£39.50m

£2.65m

£42.15m

Includes funds for PHA staff to end of April 2022

PQ 277/783

BCP Spend to date

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Infrastructure

£30.98m

£0.37m

£31.35m

Includes Sevington and Dover construction only, which are DEFRA funded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the public expenditure on border control posts in preparation for implementing proposed sanitary and phytosanitary checks on agri-food and plant imports from the EU as of 10 May 2022.

Over the last two years Defra has worked with stakeholders and delivery partners to develop the capability to deliver new SPS border controls on goods arriving in England from the EU. The figures below cover IT delivery, staffing costs and infrastructure.

PQ 275 / 276

Implementation Preparations

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Digital Delivery

£10.77m

£0.00m

£10.77m

Includes IPAFFS and proportion of overheads

Imports Policy

£11.17m

£0.15m

£11.32m

Includes Plants and Animals

PHA Fund

£17.56m

£2.50m

£20.06m

£39.50m

£2.65m

£42.15m

Includes funds for PHA staff to end of April 2022

PQ 277/783

BCP Spend to date

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Infrastructure

£30.98m

£0.37m

£31.35m

Includes Sevington and Dover construction only, which are DEFRA funded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much has been spent on border control points in preparation for sanitary and phytosanitary checks on agri-food and plant imports coming into the UK from the EU.

Over the last two years Defra has worked with stakeholders and delivery partners to develop the capability to deliver new SPS border controls on goods arriving in England from the EU. The figures below cover IT delivery, staffing costs and infrastructure.

PQ 275 / 276

Implementation Preparations

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Digital Delivery

£10.77m

£0.00m

£10.77m

Includes IPAFFS and proportion of overheads

Imports Policy

£11.17m

£0.15m

£11.32m

Includes Plants and Animals

PHA Fund

£17.56m

£2.50m

£20.06m

£39.50m

£2.65m

£42.15m

Includes funds for PHA staff to end of April 2022

PQ 277/783

BCP Spend to date

Activity

21/22

22/23

Total

Infrastructure

£30.98m

£0.37m

£31.35m

Includes Sevington and Dover construction only, which are DEFRA funded.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current animal welfare arrangements for the 77 million fish farmed annually in the United Kingdom.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any protected animal, or to fail to provide for the welfare needs of an animal, including fish, for which that person is responsible.

Regulations also require that farmed fish are spared avoidable pain, distress or suffering during their killing and related operations.

As part of the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, we are currently considering a number of improvements that could be made to the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing and have asked the Animal Welfare Committee to update its 2014 Opinion on the welfare of farmed fish at the time of killing.

Any allegations of welfare or health issues will be investigated by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Cefas, and where there are non-compliances with the regulations, appropriate action is taken against anyone who breaks the law when non-compliances are disclosed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress has been made on discussions with the EU on changing the status of the UK to a Part 1 country for the purposes of the EU pet travel scheme so that animal health certificates would no longer be required.

The UK has been formally ‘listed’ as a ‘Part 2’ third country for the purposes of the EU pet travel scheme, which means that new rules apply to pet movements from Great Britain to the EU and to Northern Ireland. The pet health and documentary requirements for such pet travel are set out under the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Defra recognises the impact that these changes are having on pet owners and assistance dog users. We are continuing to seek agreement from the European Commission on awarding GB ‘Part 1’ listed status and recognition of the UK’s tapeworm-free status, and we see no valid animal health reason for these not to be granted.

We have one of the most rigorous pet checking regimes in Europe to protect our biosecurity and we are currently planning for further engagement with the EU to progress both of these issues. Achieving these would alleviate a number of pet travel rules for all travellers, including the need for an Animal Health Certificate.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Build Back Better scheme to provide up to £10,000 for properties to install flood prevention measures will be available only to properties covered by the Flood Re scheme or to all flooded properties.

Flood Re is a joint government and industry reinsurance scheme designed to help UK households at high risk of flooding to access affordable insurance. New regulations came into force on 1 April to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme and promote uptake of Property Flood Resilience measures.

Flood Re can now pay claims from insurers which include an amount for resilient repair (Build-Back-Better) up to a value of £10,000 over and above the cost of like-for-like reinstatement for actual flood damage. This will help flooded households become more resilient and allow homeowners to return more quickly after any future flooding

Build-Back-Better will be available through a range of major insurance brands. To ensure consistency and fairness for all customers, insurers who choose to participate in Build-Back-Better are required to offer it on all policies across their home insurance offerings and not just on policies ceded to Flood Re.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to help improve access to Flood Re Build Back Better scheme for homes at risk of flooding.

Flood Re is a joint government and industry reinsurance scheme designed to help UK households at high risk of flooding to access affordable insurance. New regulations came into force on 1 April to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scheme and promote uptake of Property Flood Resilience measures.

Flood Re can now pay claims from insurers which include an amount for resilient repair (Build-Back-Better) up to a value of £10,000 over and above the cost of like-for-like reinstatement for actual flood damage. This will help flooded households become more resilient and allow homeowners to return more quickly after any future flooding

Build-Back-Better will be available through a range of major insurance brands. To ensure consistency and fairness for all customers, insurers who choose to participate in Build-Back-Better are required to offer it on all policies across their home insurance offerings and not just on policies ceded to Flood Re.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he will publish the findings of the Consultation on Commonly Littered Single Use Plastic Items.

The call for evidence on commonly littered and problematic plastic items closed on 12 February 2022. We are currently analysing responses and will provide a further update in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of which infrastructure is most effective in removing excess storm water to help prevent flooding.

Surface water flood risk, caused by storm water and excessive rainwater, is localised and complex. It is difficult to predict, often happening quickly and is exacerbated by impermeable surfaces and overwhelmed drainage networks. In England 3.2 million properties are at risk of surface water flooding, more than the number at risk from river and sea flooding, and this is likely to increase due to the effects of climate change and population growth if no action is taken to mitigate it.

There is no single solution to mitigating surface water flooding but rather a holistic approach, where everyone has a role in how we manage water and mitigate the risks we face. This includes flood defence schemes and nature-based solutions (such as sustainable drainage systems and other blue-green infrastructure), property flood resilience measures and ensuring we have a robust drainage system now and for the future.

As a local flood risk, it is the responsibility of lead local flood authorities, who have the operational lead and are best placed to understand, mitigate and respond to it. All lead local flood authorities will work with local communities and other bodies, such as water companies, to mitigate the risk as part of their local flood risk management strategy.

The Government is also taking action and last year restated its commitment to ensuring surface water flood risk is tackled. In July 2021 we published a progress update, including where further action is required, on our Surface Water Management Plan, and our response to the independent review into surface water and drainage responsibilities:

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surface-water-management-a-government-update).

The Action Plan and Review include 22 actions and 28 recommendations respectively, for a wide range of stakeholders to deliver, including the Government, Environment Agency and lead local flood authorities.

The Government is investing £5.2 billion in 2,000 flood and coastal erosion defences in England to better protect a further 336,000 properties. Approximately a third of these schemes will mitigate surface water flood risk, following changes in 2020 to the Government’s partnership funding rules.

Alongside this water companies, who are responsible for the maintenance and resilience of the drainage and wastewater networks, are producing the first cycle of non-statutory Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs), is currently ongoing. These plans are an important part of ensuring a robust drainage system and will help fully assess network capacity and develop collaborative solutions with local authorities and other bodies who are responsible for parts of the drainage system. The Government will be making these plans a statutory requirement through the Environment Act when the first cycle ends.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of storm water on surface water flooding; and what steps he is taking to mitigate flooding resulting from storms.

Surface water flood risk, caused by storm water and excessive rainwater, is localised and complex. It is difficult to predict, often happening quickly and is exacerbated by impermeable surfaces and overwhelmed drainage networks. In England 3.2 million properties are at risk of surface water flooding, more than the number at risk from river and sea flooding, and this is likely to increase due to the effects of climate change and population growth if no action is taken to mitigate it.

There is no single solution to mitigating surface water flooding but rather a holistic approach, where everyone has a role in how we manage water and mitigate the risks we face. This includes flood defence schemes and nature-based solutions (such as sustainable drainage systems and other blue-green infrastructure), property flood resilience measures and ensuring we have a robust drainage system now and for the future.

As a local flood risk, it is the responsibility of lead local flood authorities, who have the operational lead and are best placed to understand, mitigate and respond to it. All lead local flood authorities will work with local communities and other bodies, such as water companies, to mitigate the risk as part of their local flood risk management strategy.

The Government is also taking action and last year restated its commitment to ensuring surface water flood risk is tackled. In July 2021 we published a progress update, including where further action is required, on our Surface Water Management Plan, and our response to the independent review into surface water and drainage responsibilities:

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/surface-water-management-a-government-update).

The Action Plan and Review include 22 actions and 28 recommendations respectively, for a wide range of stakeholders to deliver, including the Government, Environment Agency and lead local flood authorities.

The Government is investing £5.2 billion in 2,000 flood and coastal erosion defences in England to better protect a further 336,000 properties. Approximately a third of these schemes will mitigate surface water flood risk, following changes in 2020 to the Government’s partnership funding rules.

Alongside this water companies, who are responsible for the maintenance and resilience of the drainage and wastewater networks, are producing the first cycle of non-statutory Drainage and Wastewater Management Plans (DWMPs), is currently ongoing. These plans are an important part of ensuring a robust drainage system and will help fully assess network capacity and develop collaborative solutions with local authorities and other bodies who are responsible for parts of the drainage system. The Government will be making these plans a statutory requirement through the Environment Act when the first cycle ends.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of any increase in testing chemical and pharmaceutical products on animals as a result of different REACH regimes in the UK and EU.

The UK has been at the forefront of opposing animal tests where alternative approaches could be used. This is known as the "last-resort principle", which have retained and enshrined in legislation through our landmark Environment Act.

We are determined that there should be no need for any additional animal testing for a chemical that has already been registered, unless it is subject to further evaluation that shows the registration dossier is inadequate or there are still concerns about the hazards and risks of the chemical, especially to human health.

The Health and Safety Executive, as the UK REACH Agency, will shortly be publishing its first report under Article 117(3) on the status of implementation and use of non-animal test methods and testing strategies under REACH. This report covers the first twelve months of UK REACH operation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help support farmers with rising fertiliser costs.

Agricultural commodity prices are closely linked to global gas prices. Farmers are facing increased input costs, including for fertiliser, feed and fuel. We are monitoring the situation closely, including through the UK Agriculture Market Monitoring Group. Defra is in regular contact with key industry figures including the National Farmers Union, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board and key sector representatives.

The Government announced on 30 March a number of actions to help mitigate the current issues and support farmers and growers ahead of the next growing season. These included changes to statutory guidance to the Environment Agency on how they should implement the "Farming Rules for Water" to provide clarity to farmers on how they can use slurry and other manures during autumn and winter to meet agronomic needs; increased grants funding to help farmers and growers boost research and development; and a delay to changes to the use of urea by at least a year. When the urea restrictions are introduced, they will be related to the use of ammonia inhibitors rather than a complete ban.

We recognise that fertiliser pressures on the livestock and arable sectors may differ, particularly over the farming seasons. On 31 March, Minister Prentis hosted the first meeting of the Fertiliser Taskforce with key industry bodies to discuss potential mitigations to the challenges which global supply pressures are causing. Ministers will continue to meet with key industry bodies for further Fertiliser Taskforce sessions in the coming months, to help identify and mitigate potential risks.

Support in the form of guidance from fertiliser suppliers and agricultural organisations such as National Farmers Union can be found from various public sources. Defra is aware that AHDB have published many helpful public pieces of guidance, advice and webinar recordings on mitigating high fertiliser prices. They can be found on the AHDB website.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the recent increase in fertiliser prices on farming over the next five years.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the additional costs to British chemical companies of registering with UK REACH.

We want to minimise disruption for business and ensure a smooth transition to UK REACH. We have put in place provisions to minimise the costs for businesses and maintain market access to both the EU and GB markets


We recognise that transition to the UK REACH regime has presented some challenges for the chemicals industry, particularly around the cost of having to access and purchase data to support their registration.

We previously extended the transitional registration deadlines (from two years to a phased two, four, & six-year approach) to allow industry more time to adapt and comply with UK REACH and to spread costs over a longer period. We have now gone further and committed to exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations that would reduce the need for companies to access EU REACH data packages whilst maintaining high standards to safeguard public health and the environment. Although it is too early to commit to this model, we wish to further explore its potential. We will engage fully with industry, NGOs and other interested stakeholders as part of this process. We have also committed to consult on further extending the transitional registration deadlines.

The cost to Government in running UK REACH includes the cost of further digital development and management of the Comply with UK REACH digital service and the cost of regulatory capacity in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA). In 2022/23 this will cost around £13 million. There will also be additional costs of Defra staff working on REACH.


Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact on trade with the EU for British chemical companies of having to operate within UK REACH and EU REACH.

We want to minimise disruption for business and ensure a smooth transition to UK REACH. We have put in place provisions to minimise the costs for businesses and maintain market access to both the EU and GB markets


We recognise that transition to the UK REACH regime has presented some challenges for the chemicals industry, particularly around the cost of having to access and purchase data to support their registration.

We previously extended the transitional registration deadlines (from two years to a phased two, four, & six-year approach) to allow industry more time to adapt and comply with UK REACH and to spread costs over a longer period. We have now gone further and committed to exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations that would reduce the need for companies to access EU REACH data packages whilst maintaining high standards to safeguard public health and the environment. Although it is too early to commit to this model, we wish to further explore its potential. We will engage fully with industry, NGOs and other interested stakeholders as part of this process. We have also committed to consult on further extending the transitional registration deadlines.

The cost to Government in running UK REACH includes the cost of further digital development and management of the Comply with UK REACH digital service and the cost of regulatory capacity in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA). In 2022/23 this will cost around £13 million. There will also be additional costs of Defra staff working on REACH.


Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of running and managing the UK REACH system.

We want to minimise disruption for business and ensure a smooth transition to UK REACH. We have put in place provisions to minimise the costs for businesses and maintain market access to both the EU and GB markets


We recognise that transition to the UK REACH regime has presented some challenges for the chemicals industry, particularly around the cost of having to access and purchase data to support their registration.

We previously extended the transitional registration deadlines (from two years to a phased two, four, & six-year approach) to allow industry more time to adapt and comply with UK REACH and to spread costs over a longer period. We have now gone further and committed to exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations that would reduce the need for companies to access EU REACH data packages whilst maintaining high standards to safeguard public health and the environment. Although it is too early to commit to this model, we wish to further explore its potential. We will engage fully with industry, NGOs and other interested stakeholders as part of this process. We have also committed to consult on further extending the transitional registration deadlines.

The cost to Government in running UK REACH includes the cost of further digital development and management of the Comply with UK REACH digital service and the cost of regulatory capacity in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA). In 2022/23 this will cost around £13 million. There will also be additional costs of Defra staff working on REACH.


Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) progress of the implementation of an all-in Deposit Return Scheme for recycling and reuse.

Defra and the devolved administrations are continuing to consider representations received during the recent consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and expect to publish a response in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will include a target to reduce the UK’s single use plastic by 50 per cent by 2025 in the Consultation on environmental targets.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle fly tipping.

Fly-tipping policy is a devolved matter. In England, we are taking action to crack down on fly tipping and support people to dispose of their waste properly. We have announced grants worth £450,000 to help councils in England use innovative methods to tackle fly-tipping and launched a consultation to close a loophole that allows recycling centres to charge for recycling DIY waste.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their Soil Health Action Plan for England.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of the water industry on tackling the illegal discharge of untreated sewage into rivers across the UK.

I have been repeatedly clear that the frequency of sewage discharges and pollution incidents is unacceptable. We are the first Government to introduce a legal duty to clean up our waterways, backed up by our direction to Ofwat. We are cracking down on water companies, putting in place ambitious targets, and we have launched a consultation on our plan to reduce storm overflows. On this side of the House we voted in favour of a whole package of measures to improve water quality – the Hon Lady and her colleagues opposite did not.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to reduce the cumulative costs of vet health checks and employing export and import agents for companies selling live insect eggs to the EU.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency does not charge exporters for Export Health Certificates. Official Veterinarians operate in a private market and will charge exporters for certification. Decisions on the use of import and export agencies remain commercial matters for traders.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle potential concerns about short-term food shortages resulting from decreasing global stocks and the war in Ukraine.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 19 April 2022 to Question 148359 on Outdoor Recreation which stated that there are no plans to release the Agnew Review in a consolidated way, if he will place a copy of the (a) final report and (b) recommendations of the review, otherwise known as the Access to the Outdoors Commission, in the Library.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Harper Adams University to research the potential merits of automated farms.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to control the rural fox population.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the cost for (a) an adult and (b) a child to eat in line with the dietary advice contained in the Community Eatwell Guide in 2022.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support he is providing to the food and drink sector to help mitigate increased supply chain costs resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the prevalence of illegal puppy farming across the UK.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to level up rural areas.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on making food more affordable as outlined in the Outcome Delivery Plan.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the pig farming industry.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the development of vertical, low-carbon farms, fuelled by renewable energy.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they (1) have held, and (2) will hold, with the (a) United Nations, and (b) EU, on the movement of perishable goods between the UK and the EU under the UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement; what assessment they have made of the implications of the International Treaty on the movement of Perishable Goods on the movement of such goods; and what changes they plan to make to the transport of perishable foods from 1 July when border checks are scheduled to come into force.

It has not proved possible to respond to this question in the time available before Prorogation. Ministers will correspond directly with the Member.

Lord Benyon
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help farmers invest in their businesses.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will prioritise environmental land management scheme funding for the Sustainable Farming Initiative in order to attract more farmers to the scheme; and if he will make a statement.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the fishing industry.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle food insecurity in the context of increases in the cost of living.

The UK has a high degree of food security. Last year, we published the Food Security Report which includes a section on food security at a household level. The latest statistics point to an increase in household food security between 2019 and 2020. There are undoubtedly going to be pressures on food prices as a result of increased input costs – including gas, fuel and fertiliser. That will have to be passed through the system, but the Government is providing an additional £500 million to help provide targeted cost of living support for households most in need.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)