Focus on land, human and animal health

Outcomes from policies

  • should promote sustainable, long-term biodiversity of the environment
  • should focus on human health and animal welfare, not profits
  • should focus on activities that do not contribute to adverse climate change
  • should not provide funding for practices that damage the environment or human health or contribute to climate change (meat and dairy industries)

Lessons to learn/ policies

  • to base new policies on environmental science
  • to base new policies on health recommendation

Areas to focus on: climate change, land, human health, animal health, Wellbeing of Future Generations

Why the contribution is important

Climate Change – reason why need to reduce funding for animal farming

The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization highlights the large amount of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock. To seriously limit climate change we need to reduce livestock numbers. Produce more GHG than transport (2006 report, and update in 2013.)

Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs, is an independent policy institute) report ‘Changing climate: changing diets’ recommends reducing meat consumption: “Reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of two degrees Celsius, the main goal of the climate negotiations in Paris.” The report notes that governments must lead this through behavioural change and policies. “Our research found a general belief across cultures and continents that it is the role of government to spearhead efforts to address unsustainable consumption of meat. Governments overestimate the risk of public backlash and their inaction signals to publics that the issue is unimportant or undeserving of concern.”

Oxford Martin School research found adoption of vegetarian diet would cut food-related emissions by 63% and make people healthier too.

The Centre for Alternative Technology’s Zero Carbon Britain project produced research reports detailing what can be done to get Britain’s carbon emissions down. They looked at land and diet and recommended changes including double forest area, grow own biomass fuel, grow more of UK’s food supply, more biodiversity, more protected areas and reduce meat diet to replace with plant based foods.

 

Land:

  • Land use should be organic
  • Forestry – should avoid clearcutting - instead using sensitive coppicing, only removing a % of the trees. Ideally replace with native trees too, not just non-native cash crops.
  • Policy to create X amount of new woodland in Wales every year.
  • Divest money from animal farming to plant and tree agriculture. Upland areas to be used more extensively for tree crops. Diversify for fruit and tree species (once sheep are no longer grazing, land will regenerate); wood crops for the wood;
  • Consider alternative land uses eg green burial sites in every county where trees and bushes are planted on the graves instead of sterile headstones, so new woods are created whilst saving resources. See article about one local authority.
  • Protect current green spaces, whether agricultural or not, from development and housing; new housing should only be on existing and brownfield sites;
  • Increase local requirements for council allotments so that people can grow more of their own produce.
  • Allow some areas to become ‘re-wilding’ projects, particularly on uplands.
  • Farm for wildlife – more hedgerows, protect species of plants and animals etc.

 

Human health – reasons for reducing livestock production

  • Reduce meat and dairy consumption in line with recent UK guidelines

Meat is extremely bad for health (cancers, cholesterol, diabetes etc) and most health organisations now recommend reducing meat, and particularly processed meats, to only one small portion a day. See Harvard research, and UK NHS recommendations to reduce to maximum of 70g a day – this is half of a cooked breakfast of two typical British sausages and two rashers of bacon which is equivalent to 130g of meat. Higher intakes of meat and dairy produce is also as dangerous to human health as smoking, the Guardian reported a longitudinal study. In addition, the UK’s healthy eating guide ‘Eatwell Guide’ has recently been revised to reduce the importance of meat and dairy, to promote the importance of beans and other plant forms of protein both in terms of health and sustainability and to increase prominence of fruit and vegetable intake.

 

Animal health

  • Prioritise animal welfare – terrible cruelty of factory farming, inhumane conditions, diseases spread etc.
  • Stockfree (ie no livestock) organic land management would be better approach – see Stockfree Organic Standards
  • Limit sizes of farm livestock holdings in factory farms and ban ‘zero grazing’ and ‘mega farms’.
  • Ban live exports.

Wellbeing of Future Generations Act

  • Reduction of animal livestock is essential for human health and the health of the planet.
  • Need to think long term, needs of future generations is health, land, environment, water etc.

by lisad on September 20, 2016 at 10:33PM

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Comments

  • Posted by EllisHuws September 26, 2016 at 11:28

    Great ideas in this, I wish it was Welsh policy. Practical and innovative, it would make Wales a much better country.
  • Posted by AlexandraCook September 27, 2016 at 08:42

    Although I agree with some of the points (like creating green burial sites) I strongly disagree with depriving humans of our natural healthy food - meat. Farming should be sustainable, animals should be treated humane but this doesn't mean at all the exclusion of animals! Think of natural grasslands full of grazing animals - this it the standard of a healthy ecosystem to which any farmland should be compared. The natural European forests too had wild boar, elk, deer... Plenty of animals - nothing to do with global warming whatsoever. Sorry, but whoever says people should not eat the food they originally evolved to eat and is good for them is not compassionate to people.
  • Posted by CelynMenai February 23, 2017 at 13:55

    Diolch i chi am rannu eich syniadau a sylwadau!

    Mae eich blaenoriaethau a syniadau yn cael eu defnyddio i helpu’r Pwyllgor i ysgrifennu ei adroddiad ar sut y gallwn ddatblygu egwyddorion sy'n sail i bolisi amaethyddiaeth a datblygu gwledig newydd i Gymru. Am ragor o wybodaeth, plîs cysylltwch â fi ar celyn.cooper@cynulliad.cymru. Mi fyddai’n sicr o ddiweddaru’r tudalennau hyn a’r sgwrs fel mae hyn yn datblygu.

    Mae eich syniadau a’ch blaenoriaethau hefyd wedi bod o gymorth i’r Pwyllgor wrth iddo wahodd sefydliadau a chyrff cynrychioliadol i’r Senedd i roi tystiolaeth ar lafar ar ddyfodol amaeth yng Nghymru.

    O ddiddordeb , mae'r Pwyllgor yn cynnal nifer o ymgynghoriadau newydd ar hyn o bryd. Mae croeso i chi gysylltu yn uniongyrchol, neu ymweld â wefan y Pwyllgor am fanylion pellach: http://www.assembly.wales/cy/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Diolch o galon i chi gyd eto!

    ***

    Thank you for sharing your idea and comments!

    Your ideas and priorities are now being used to help the Committee write its report on how we can develop principles to underpin a new agriculture and rural development policy for Wales. For more information, please do contact me @ celyn.cooper@assembly.wales. I’ll also make sure to update the pages and this thread to keep you updated as this progresses.

    Your ideas and priorities have also been a great support for the Committee as it invited representative organisations and bodies to come to the Senedd and give oral evidence on the future of agriculture in Wales.

    Of interest, the Committee is also undertaking a number of other inquiries at the moment that may be of interest. You're more than welcome to contact me directly, or visit the Committee's webpage for more information on how to get involved: http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Thank you again for all your contributions!
    Diolch!
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