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Government Bill to uphold environmental standards announced
The new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ‘ensure environmental principles remain central to government policy’.
Bill to ensure environmental principles remain central to policy

A new draft bill to uphold environmental standards as Britain leaves the EU will be published this autumn, the government has confirmed.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said that the new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ‘ensure environmental principles remain central to government policy’.

A consultation is now underway on the contents of the Bill, which will create an independent body to hold the government to account for outcomes. Subject to this consultation, the body could be responsible for:

    •    providing independent scrutiny and advice on existing and future government environmental law and policy

    •    responding to complaints about government’s delivery of environmental law

    •    holding government to account publicly over its delivery of environmental law and exercising enforcement powers where necessary.

“As the Prime Minister has made clear, we will not weaken environmental protections when we leave the EU. A new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will ensure core environmental principles remain central to government policy and decision-making,” explained Michael Gove.

“We will only achieve our aims by also creating a strong and objective voice that champions and enforces environmental standards. That’s why our Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will also create an independent and statutory watchdog. This will hold governments to account for delivering their commitments to the natural world.”

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and seeks views on the most effective way for the new body to hold the government to account. A public consultation will begin soon after the draft Bill is published in the autumn. 

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”