Debates between Lord Trees and Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park during the 2019-2024 Parliament

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Debate between Lord Trees and Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Thursday 13th October 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con)
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I have already made comments about the issue of 0.5% and 0.7%. I will not repeat them, other than to say that, like everyone in this House and the other place, we look forward to being able to return to 0.7% very soon. On the specific point that the noble Lord made about the Global Fund, it is true that we have not yet committed to a number, but that is not the same as saying that we are delivering nothing to the Global Fund. We are committed to the Global Fund. I cannot announce the financial commitment that that represents, but it is not true to say that we are withdrawing our support; far from it: we will be making a substantial commitment in due course.

Lord Trees Portrait Lord Trees (CB)
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My Lords, disease causes poverty and poverty causes disease in a vicious circle. Does the noble Lord agree that health underpins all development: social, educational and economic? Does he further agree that, within ODA and our ODA commitment, our support for health should be prioritised?

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con)
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The noble Lord is obviously right. Health remains one of the top four priorities as set out in the integrated review and the international development strategy, neither of which has changed or been forced to be changed as a consequence of recent activities, not least Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Health remains a top priority and will continue to do so.

Smuggling: Kittens and Puppies

Debate between Lord Trees and Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Tuesday 7th December 2021

(2 years, 7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con)
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My Lords, the proposal that we have put forward involves banning the import of heavily pregnant dogs for welfare reasons. We do not think that that needs to extend to pregnant dogs as a whole.

Lord Trees Portrait Lord Trees (CB)
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My Lords, the smuggling from abroad is driven by the high demand for puppies unmet by conventional breeding establishments in the UK. While I support the Government’s efforts to clamp down on illicit importations, should we not be addressing the root cause of this problem and, recognising that dogs are social animals, encourage large-scale, high-health, high-welfare dog breeding in the UK? This would end the serious animal welfare and biosecurity problems caused by criminal smuggling.

Domestic Animals

Debate between Lord Trees and Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Thursday 15th April 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con) [V]
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I am not aware of the research cited by my noble friend, but I will certainly look out for it. The difficulty for the Government is that our job in a sense is to ensure that the minimum standard is acceptable and that owners are not able easily to sink beneath acceptable standards. It is therefore really a baseline that we set. But my noble friend is absolutely right that this is a country of animal lovers and most owners are inspired to look after their pets with great care, and we should of course be doing everything we can to raise standards across the board and encourage everyone to apply the same level of attention, care and love to the pets that they own.

Lord Trees Portrait Lord Trees (CB) [V]
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My Lords, disease and ill health are a major cause of poor welfare in both companion animals and livestock. I congratulate Her Majesty’s Government on recognising this with respect to livestock in the Agriculture Act by providing the possibility of financial incentives to improve health and welfare. How do the Government intend to assess and measure livestock welfare to achieve that objective?

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park (Con) [V]
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The Government’s planned animal health and welfare pathway will support livestock farmers financially by using public funds to deliver public goods and pay for health and welfare enhancements that are valued by the public but not currently delivered by the market or through existing regulatory standards. We are working closely with animal welfare scientists and stakeholders to determine which animal welfare enhancements to pursue and the most effective welfare metrics to use as a basis for those future payments.

Trade Deals: Animal Welfare

Debate between Lord Trees and Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Wednesday 5th February 2020

(4 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Trees Portrait Lord Trees
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To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they will safeguard animal welfare and environmental standards in negotiating trade deals with respect to livestock products.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Department for International Development (Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park) (Con)
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My Lords, as set out in our manifesto, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards in our trade negotiations. The Government’s Agriculture Bill sets out our plans to reward farmers for enhancing our natural environment and for safeguarding the nation’s high welfare standards. We will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure that any future trade deals uphold the standards that farmers and consumers across the UK expect.

Lord Trees Portrait Lord Trees (CB)
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I am grateful to the Minister for that Answer and I welcome him to the Front Bench. I do not doubt the sincerity of Her Majesty’s Government’s assurances, but there is widespread—and, I would suggest, justifiable—concern that our own livestock industry could be out-competed by imports of cheap livestock products from animals reared to poorer welfare and environmental standards. This might mean cheaper food, but it would be at a global cost to animal welfare and the environment and at some risk to our own indigenous livestock enterprise. Will the Government enshrine in UK law their manifesto commitment to require that imports of livestock products meet our high animal welfare and environmental standards?

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Portrait Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
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The UK, as the noble Lord points out, has world-leading environmental and animal welfare standards, and that will not change. They are backed up in legislation and, even more importantly, are backed by both producers and consumers right across the land. There is no value to anyone in imposing high standards here on our own producers if we then allow low-standard imports of those same products. We would merely be undermining our farmers while exporting cruelty elsewhere.