Green Manifesto 2010 Farming, Food And Animal Protection
Healthy and affordable food and recreation
• Localise the food chain, including assistance for small farms, starting farmers’ markets, farm box schemes and locally owned co-ops.
• Set new targets every five years and a minimum conversion of 10% of UK food production to organic every five years.
• Replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) with support for smaller farms, organic agriculture, local food markets, and measures to increase biodiversity in our countryside – European subsidies must support planet- friendly farming.
• Replace the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) with policies that prioritise protection of the oceans and provide sustainable support to fishing communities. In particular, properly finance the implementation of the Marine and Coastal Access Act.
• Support GM-free zones and continue to work for a complete ban on genetically modified food in Europe.
• Intensive livestock farming is a major contributor to greenhouse gases through the production of methane. We will work to measure and reduce the impact of our meat and dairy consumption, while recognising that traditional rotational grazing has potential for storing carbon in the soil.
• Improve food skills by encouraging schools to involve children in growing, preparing and cooking food.
• Reduce the dominance of supermarket chains through a range of measures, such as:
-vigorously enforcing monopoly legislation against the existing largest chains;
-introducing a supermarket Ombudsman to protect farmers from supermarket bullying;
-prohibiting new out-of-town retailing, and requiring parking charges for private car parks with exemption for the disabled;
-insisting that 50% of retail floor space in all new developments is affordable space for local small businesses;
-including clear policies on sustainability to enable planning authorities to give priority to local firms and farms;
-prohibiting new private retail parking in large developments, apart from disabled; and
-providing many more allotments. Most people who want an allotment should be able to get one. Councils should use existing powers to designate new allotments in perpetuity.
Taking animal protection seriously
We share the world with other animals and are not entitled to ill-treat or exploit them. Accordingly we would:
• Phase out all forms of factory farming of animals and enforce strict animal welfare standards generally, including in organic agriculture.
• Ensure that the European ban on seal imports is implemented fully; ban the import of real fur products, but ensure that real fur is clearly labelled until a ban is in place; press the EU to ban fur factory farming; bring in non-lethal alternatives to shooting seals at fish farms.
Allotments – seeding the future
330,000 people have allotments – and 100,000 are waiting for one. Allotments cut carbon and are seeds for communities to grow.
1. Allow people to save money.
2. Provide an area for abundant wildlife.
3. Help to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
4. Help to cut the amount of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere: people grow their own food instead of buying it all, thus reducing ‘air miles’ (and shipping and lorry pollution).
5. Provide people with a community group to belong to and enjoy.
6. Provide people with a space to exercise while doing something worthwhile.
7. Promote resilience.
• Maintain the ban on hunting with dogs and extend to other blood sports, including the use of snares, and oppose badger culling.
• Immediately ban causing harm to animals (including but not only primates) in research, testing and education, and invest in the development of alternatives to animal experiments.
• End live animal exports and limit journey times for all animal transport.
• Implement a full ban on the production and sale of eggs produced from hens kept in battery cages (including ‘enriched’ cages).
• Protect biodiversity and human and animal health. We will always adopt the ‘precautionary principle’ with regard to any alleged benefits of new technologies such as genetic modification, cloning, xenotransplantation and nanotechnology.
• Regulate the companion animal trade including a ban on the import of so-called ‘exotic pets’.
wildlife, open spaces and landscape
We must protect our wildlife and landscape and their diversity, both for their own sake and ours – clean air, water, food and flood regulation all depend on the natural landscape. Biodiversity is under threat. Human activity is driving the sixth great extinction and we are losing about 30,000 species per year. We have a historic opportunity not only to halt the degradation of our natural environment, but to begin to roll back two centuries of exploitation. We would:
• Promote landscape-scale conservation, using reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the planning system to encourage restoration of heathlands, woods, marshland and other important habitats.
• Reduce dramatically the use of pesticides and introduce measures such as ‘buffer zones’ around sprayed fields to protect humans as well as wildlife.
• Oppose the introduction of a non-elected Planning Commission, particularly for new roads, runways, incinerators and inappropriate housing developments, and ensure that sustainable development, not just economic development, is at the heart of the planning system.
• Press to extend the amount of land covered by the EU Habitats Directive in the UK, and ensure that protected sites are in good condition.
• Set up a national Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) to promote and integrate research and development on public health and environmental protection.
• Protect wildlife abroad by cracking down on the illegal trade in wildlife products such as ivory, protect biodiversity in British Overseas Territories, and oppose all forms of commercial and ‘scientific’ whaling.
• Increase the tranquillity of our urban environments, with less litter, less noise, reduced light pollution and more green spaces. Everyone should live within walking distance of natural green space.
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