Robert Flello’s Private Members Bill on Sustainable Livestock had its second reading debate in Parliament on November 12th.

Unfortunately, despite a clear majority of MPs present supporting the bill the turnout was too low for the bill to proceed to the committee stage. However, the good news is that during the debate the Government conceded that action is needed to tackle the environmental impacts of factory farming. They just didn’t want to be pinned down to a legal commitment.

So the huge effort that many have made to encourage their MPs to support the bill was far from wasted. The important issue of the brutal and unsustainable nature of the animal feed soy plantations in South America has at last been exposed. FOE has made strong and positive links with UK farmers and farmers organizations. Most important of all is that the Government now know that their stated commitment to sustainable farming will come under careful and critical scrutiny. The public, personal commitment to this given by the Agriculture Minister Caroline Spelman won at a meeting organized by Solihull FOE (supported by BFOE) was in itself, a significant achievement.

BFOE would like to especially thank the two Birmingham MPs; Steve McCabe and Roger Godsiff who both turned up and supported the bill on November 12th.