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.


View sample weekly alert

Secretary of State

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

Ministers of State
Rt Hon Zac Goldsmith MP - Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Victoria Prentis MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Rebecca Pow MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lord Gardiner of Kimble - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)


Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

22 Oct 2020, 2:04 p.m.
We're pleased to announce that our #EnvironmentBill will return to Parliament for debate from 3 Nov 🌿 Discover 10 things our world-leading Environment Bill will achieve here: https://t.co/xeXrp3qfzD https://t.co/N4g07xs0Hy - Link
22 Oct 2020, 12:52 p.m.
In today’s blog, we discuss how we are working with the poultry industry to ensure a steady supply of British turkeys this Christmas. Read more 👇 https://t.co/7MiLIgWQQZ - Link
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Tweets

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
Date Type Title
Oct. 15 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
May. 22 Urgent Questions Transport Emissions: Urban Areas
Oct. 21 Westminster Hall Right to Food in Legislation
Oct. 01 Adjournment Debate Fly-tipping: Penalties
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Contibutions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Bills and Acts in the Current Session

Title Last Event Next Event Date Last Updated
Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Act 2020 Royal Assent (Minutes of Proceedings) 30 January, 2020 31 Jan 2020, 9:30 a.m.
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.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Draft Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title
Published
22 Oct 2020, 3:53 p.m.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Common Fisheries Policy (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by section 8(1) of, and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16) in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies (in particular, under section 8(2)(b), (c), (d) and (g)) arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Laid Secondary Legislation

Dates Department Title Type
Laid
21 Oct 2020
In Force
22 Oct 2020
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Air Quality (Amendment) (Northern Ireland Protocol) (EU Exit) (Revocation) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Made negative procedure
These Regulations revoke the Air Quality (Amendment) (Northern Ireland Protocol) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.
Laid
21 Oct 2020
In Force
Not stated
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Animal Welfare and Invasive Non-native Species (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
Parliamentary Status - Text of Legislation
Draft affirmative procedure
These Regulations are made in the exercise of powers in section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68) and sections 8 (in particular section 8(2)(a)-(d) and (g)) and 8C of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (c. 16), in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies. This includes changes to the way in which such deficiencies are addressed in consequence of section 7A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 relating to the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secondary Legislation

Petitions addressed by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Current Signatures Final Signatures Title Petition Deadline
247,048
Petition Closed

Ban the use of all non-recyclable and unsustainable food packaging

Gov Responded - 18 Jun 2019 Debated on - 24 Jun 2019
5 Jun 2019
closed 1 year, 4 months ago

Today the Earth is at a crisis point due to our plastic consumption, and as a result, people in the UK are more willing than ever to engage in recycling. Yet so much food packaging remains completely, frustratingly unrecyclable. Let's aim for the UK to lead the world with a 100% recycling rate.

186,226
Petition Closed

Reject calls to add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the Dangerous Dogs Act

Gov Responded - 5 Jul 2018 Debated on - 16 Jul 2018
22 Dec 2018
closed 1 year, 10 months ago

PETA, an organisation that is meant to be dedicated to protecting animals, has proposed to the UK government that it should add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the dangerous dogs act, effectively banning them outright. Breed Specific Legislation is not the solution to the problem of dog attacks.

148,248
Petition Closed

Ban the sale of puppies by pet shops & all commercial 3rd party dealers.

Gov Responded - 20 Mar 2018 Debated on - 21 May 2018
1 Sep 2018
closed 2 years, 1 month ago

Removing puppies for sale from litter & mum often creates sick, traumatised, dysfunctional dogs. Puppies should be seen with their mum & transporting them to a different place for sale harms welfare. Regulating commercial 3rd party sales is ineffective to prevent harm & a ban is therefore necessary.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Petitions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Home Page

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, and the Select Committee will occasionally publish formal reports of their findings.


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Publications


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
22 Oct 2020, 4:15 p.m. Alberto Costa MP (Conservative - South Leicestershire) Alberto Costa MP (Conservative - South Leicestershire)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of allowing local authorities to identify publicly people prosecuted for (a) fly-tipping and (b) hiring an unlicensed waste carrier.

Answered by Rebecca Pow - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Fly-tipping is unacceptable wherever it occurs, and we are committed to tackling this crime.

The naming of fly-tipping offenders is not current Government policy. The Government is committed to encouraging local solutions for local problems. This is particularly relevant in tackling fly-tipping, which requires a local approach, tailored to the characteristics of the area and the community in which the problem occurs. It is therefore not for central government to assess or promote a single approach.

In our Resources and Waste Strategy we committed to developing a web-based toolkit to tackle fly-tipping. This will include advice and guidance on how local authorities can set up and run effective fly-tipping partnerships and share intelligence. Through the establishment of effective partnerships, it will be possible for local partners to share intelligence and evidence of fly-tippers operating across administrative boundaries.

Furthermore, the Police National Computer holds details of people who are, or were, of interest to UK law enforcement agencies following a conviction for a criminal offence, or are subject to legal proceedings, including for fly-tipping offences.

We are also taking action to tackle waste crime, which includes fly-tipping, through the Environment Bill. It will enable the Government to mandate the use of electronic waste tracking; simplify the process for enforcement authorities to enter premises under a warrant; introduce a new power to search for and seize evidence of waste crime; and reduce the cost and bureaucracy when the police seize vehicles involved in waste crime on behalf of the Environment Agency.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Question