Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are the UK government department responsible for safeguarding our natural environment, supporting our world-leading food and farming industry, and sustaining a thriving rural economy. Our broad remit means we play a major role in people’s day-to-day life, from the food we eat, and the air we breathe, to the water we drink.


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Secretary of State

Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Ministers of State
George Eustice MP
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
Rebecca Pow MP
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Shadow Ministers
Shadow Secretaries
Deidre Brock MP (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Shadow Ministers
Luke Pollard MP (Labour (Co-op))
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)
Mary Glindon MP (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and Rural Communities)

Latest News (from Department Twitter Feed)

29 Jan 2020, 7:45 a.m.
Fishing at sustainable levels is at the heart of our new #FisheriesBill. The Bill will: 🎣 support future generations of #fishermen 🐋 while allowing our #MarineEnvironment to thrive Read our press story: https://t.co/MXAWMea7um Check our Facebook later today for more details. https://t.co/sinsT3HTqr - Link
28 Jan 2020, 11:11 a.m.
Brilliant to see @SainsburysNews taking ambitious action to protect our planet for future generations by committing to Net Zero by 2040. 🌍 https://t.co/Aem2QGXyu4 - Link
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Tweets

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Date Type Title
Oct. 31 Oral Questions Oral Answers to Questions
Oct. 31 Topical Questions Topical Questions
May. 22 Urgent Questions Transport Emissions: Urban Areas
Jan. 27 Written Statements Agriculture and Fisheries Council
Jan. 28 Westminster Hall Industrial and Commercial Waste Incineration
Jan. 20 Adjournment Debate Lowestoft Tidal Flood Barrier
View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Commons Contibutions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Legislation

Title Last Event Next Event Date Last Updated
Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2019-20 1st reading: House of Commons (no debate) 25 Oct 2019, 1:22 p.m.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before Dissolution. This means the Bill will make no further progress. To make provision about the mode of trial and maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2019-19 1st reading: House of Commons (no debate) 25 Oct 2019, 1:22 p.m.
A has been called and Parliament is no longer sitting. The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before . This means the Bill will make no further progress. To make provision about the mode of trial and maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Environment Bill 2019-20 Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons 28 October, 2019 30 Oct 2019, 4:07 p.m.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before Dissolution. This means the Bill will make no further progress. To make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; to make provision for the Office for Environmental Protection; to make provision about waste and resource efficiency; to make provision about air quality; to make provision for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; to make provision about water; to make provision about nature and biodiversity; to make provision for conservation covenants; to make provision about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.
Environment Bill 2019-19 Ways and Means resolution: House of Commons 28 October, 2019 30 Oct 2019, 4:07 p.m.
A has been called and Parliament is no longer sitting. The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before . This means the Bill will make no further progress. To make provision about targets, plans and policies for improving the natural environment; to make provision for the Office for Environmental Protection; to make provision about waste and resource efficiency; to make provision about air quality; to make provision for the recall of products that fail to meet environmental standards; to make provision about water; to make provision about nature and biodiversity; to make provision for conservation covenants; to make provision about the regulation of chemicals; and for connected purposes.
Agriculture Bill 2017-19 Committee Debate: 14th sitting: House of Commons 20 November, 2018 (1) (2) 25 Sep 2019, 5:30 p.m.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill To authorise new expenditure for certain agricultural and other purposes; to make provision about direct payments during an agricultural transition period following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union; to make provision about the acquisition and use of information connected with food supply chains; to confer power to respond to exceptional market conditions affecting agricultural markets; to confer power to modify retained direct EU legislation relating to agricultural and rural development payments and public market intervention and private storage aid; to make provision about marketing standards and the classification of carcasses; to make provision for the recognition of associations of agricultural producers which may benefit from certain exemptions from competition law; to confer power to make regulations about contracts for the purchase of agricultural products from agricultural producers and securing compliance with the WTO Agreement on Agriculture; and for connected purposes.
Fisheries Bill 2017-19 Committee Debate: 10th sitting (part 2): House of Commons 17 December, 2018 (1) (2) 27 Sep 2019, 11:48 a.m.
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision about policy objectives in relation to fisheries, fishing and aquaculture; to make provision about access to British fisheries; to make provision about the licensing of fishing boats; to make provision about the determination and distribution of fishing opportunities; to make provision enabling schemes to be established for charging for unauthorised catches of sea fish; to make provision about grants in connection with fishing, aquaculture or marine conservation; to make provision about the recovery of costs in respect of the exercise of public functions relating to fish or fishing; to confer powers to make further provision in connection with fisheries, aquaculture or aquatic animals; to make provision about byelaws and orders relating to the exploitation of sea fisheries; and for connected purposes.
Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill 2017-19 Committee Debates: compilation pdf of sitting so far: House of Commons 23 July, 2019 30 Aug 2019, 6:34 p.m.
To make provision about the mode of trial and maximum penalty for certain offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Direct Payments to Farmers (Legislative Continuity) Bill 2019-20 1st reading (Minutes of Proceedings): House of Lords 28 January, 2020 2nd reading: House of Lords

29 Jan 2020

29 Jan 2020, 10:16 a.m.
To make provision for the incorporation of the Direct Payments Regulation into domestic law; for enabling an increase in the total maximum amount of direct payments under that Regulation; and for connected purposes.
Ivory Act 2018 Royal Assent (Minutes of Proceddings) 20 December, 2018 21 Dec 2018, 10:39 a.m.
Following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Bill it received Royal Assent on 20 December 2018. The Bill is now an Act of Parliament (law). A Bill to prohibit dealing in ivory, and for connected purposes.
Kew Gardens (Leases) Act 2019 Royal Assent (Minutes of Proceedings) 9 September, 2019 10 Sep 2019, 7:09 p.m.
A Bill to provide that the Secretary of State’s powers in relation to the management of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, include the power to grant a lease in respect of land for a period of up to 150 years
Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019 Royal Assent (Minutes of Proceedings) 24 July, 2019 25 Jul 2019, 6:52 p.m.
A Bill to make provision to prohibit the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.

Petitions addressed by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Current Signatures Final Signatures Title Petition Deadline
247,048
Petition Closed

Ban the use of all non-recyclable and unsustainable food packaging

Gov Responded - 18 Jun 2019 Debated on - 24 Jun 2019
5 Jun 2019
closed 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Today the Earth is at a crisis point due to our plastic consumption, and as a result, people in the UK are more willing than ever to engage in recycling. Yet so much food packaging remains completely, frustratingly unrecyclable. Let's aim for the UK to lead the world with a 100% recycling rate.

186,226
Petition Closed

Reject calls to add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the Dangerous Dogs Act

Gov Responded - 5 Jul 2018 Debated on - 16 Jul 2018
22 Dec 2018
closed 1 year, 1 month ago

PETA, an organisation that is meant to be dedicated to protecting animals, has proposed to the UK government that it should add Staffordshire Bull Terriers to the dangerous dogs act, effectively banning them outright. Breed Specific Legislation is not the solution to the problem of dog attacks.

148,248
Petition Closed

Ban the sale of puppies by pet shops & all commercial 3rd party dealers.

Gov Responded - 20 Mar 2018 Debated on - 21 May 2018
1 Sep 2018
closed 1 year, 5 months ago

Removing puppies for sale from litter & mum often creates sick, traumatised, dysfunctional dogs. Puppies should be seen with their mum & transporting them to a different place for sale harms welfare. Regulating commercial 3rd party sales is ineffective to prevent harm & a ban is therefore necessary.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Petitions

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Publications


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Questions

Written Questions are submitted by Members of Parliament and the House of Lords to receive information or updates from a Department.

Departments are required to respond in a timely fashion and provide a response or requested information. Written Questions can compel detailed and specific information to be produced, and are frequently used as the source of news stories about the work of a Department.

Latest Written Question
Date Title Questioner
7 Jan 2020, 1:53 p.m. Trees: Urban Areas Lord Patten

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the benefit of trees in English cities; and what steps they intend to take to prevent any large-scale felling of such trees.

Answer (Lord Gardiner of Kimble)

The Government recognises the value of urban trees in creating healthy communities and liveable places for people and wildlife. In our manifesto we pledged to plant more trees in towns and cities, and will expect all new streets to be lined with trees.

The public care deeply about this issue, and the Environment Bill, which returns to Parliament in January, will include measures to increase the transparency of decisions over street trees. The proposed duty to consult will encourage authorities to consider concerns raised by the public, and have regard to these when making decisions – giving the public a say in the management of these important natural assets.

View All Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Question