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The environment

The British countryside is some of the most beautiful in the world, so I am delighted that Ministers are committed to safeguarding our vibrant natural environment. Until we leave the European Union, the existing arrangements remain in place. I am particularly pleased that the Treasury has confirmed that any structural fund projects, including agri-environment schemes,
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Ivory trade

I am very concerned about the effect of illegal poaching and ivory trafficking on the long-term prospects for the survival of the elephant, and I know that my ministerial colleagues share this concern. Just how seriously the Government takes this issue was demonstrated when it held the London Conference on Wildlife Trafficking. Over 40 countries
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Fur trade

I support the highest standards of animal welfare so I am pleased to note that the importation of fur products is already tightly regulated. It is currently illegal to import furs derived from cats or dogs, or products made from them; in addition the fur and skin of endangered animals or fish cannot be imported without a
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Breeding and sale of kittens

Britain is a nation of animal lovers and it is vital that we maintain the highest standards of animal welfare. Ministers are serious about improving welfare in breeding establishments and at the point of sale, so are reviewing the laws that regulate dog breeding and pet sales, including of cats. One proposal would apply specific
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Plastic shopping bags

I support the recent introduction of a compulsory 5p charge for single use plastic bags. I think this is a step forward that will make people think twice before throwing bags away, helping protect the environment. I also think that using paper or biodegradable alternatives to plastic packaging is preferable, and I hope that the adoption of
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Fireworks

I  certainly understand how fireworks displays can bother animals. As an owner of two (rather recalcitrant) horses ourselves, both my wife and I are hugely in favour of encouraging official, local displays, rather than a myriad of smaller displays in gardens. While many people enjoy their use on special occasions, I know that others do
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Housing and the green belt

I strongly believe that our fields, woodlands and countryside should be protected against excessive development. These are special areas of our country that we have a right to enjoy and pass on to future generations. At the same, I recognise that more homes need to be delivered to meet the demands of our increasing population.
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Neonicotinoids and bees

Neonicotinoids and bees

I appreciate your concerns and entirely that bees and other pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supply and the quality of our natural environment. This is especially important in our local area, where much food production takes place. I welcome the work the Government has done over the last few
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Microbeads

Microbeads

I understand and share your concerns about the impact these ingredients can have on the marine environment and fish. That’s why I’m pleased to tell you that the UK and our neighbouring countries are now working with the industry to see their use phased out voluntarily. The UK, along with several of our neighbours, is
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Food waste

This issue is particularly important in our local area, where many of our farmers supply supermarkets, and I have no doubt that they would not want to see their produce go to waste. It is also welcome news that Ministers have backed several rounds of the Courtauld Commitment, a voluntary agreement to limit waste, which
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Neonicotinoids and bees

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the debate on this issue , but I entirely agree that bees and other pollinators play a vital role in the security of our food supply and the quality of our natural environment. This is especially important in our local area, where much food production takes place. I welcome
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