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Tuesday 31 October: Air quality, British pork industry

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Air quality

The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report today highlighted the impact of poor air quality in towns and cities around the UK.

The study was picked up widely by the national press this morning. This included the Daily Mail, The Times, Sun and BBC Breakfast.

The impact of air pollution in UK cities was one small element of a major investigation looking at the health and social costs of climate change around the world.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We have put in place a £3 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions.

We will also end the sale of new diesel and petrol cars by 2040, and next year we will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will set out further steps to tackle air pollution.

We now have an opportunity to deliver a Green Brexit and improve environmental standards as we leave the EU.

Defra support for UK pork

BBC Breakfast ran a story this morning looking at the UK’s pork industry. Reporting from a farm in Yorkshire, the piece recognised the value of the industry but said Brexit posed a challenge for its future growth.

Defra is committed to supporting our pork industry which, in 2016, exported more than £250 million worth of pork and £41 million of bacon and ham as far afield as China and the US. We recently secured market access for seven pork businesses in England and Northern Ireland, worth £200 million, and announced plans to introduce mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses in August.

We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and continue to enhance our position as a global leader, introducing mandatory CCTV in abattoirs and raising the maximum sentence for animal cruelty to five years in prison.

A Defra Spokesperson said:

The value and success of the UK’s pork industry must not be underestimated - with more than 8,000 pig farms across the UK and pork exports surpassing £250 million last year, it truly is a powerhouse of our food and farming industry.

We are absolutely committed to supporting the sector from farm to fork and that is exactly why we have secured new market access deals for UK pork, announced plans for mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses and continue to work closely with farmers to help them seize new opportunities for growth.


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