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Daniel gives his support for the UK Dairy Sector

Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham  3:04 pm, 20th April 2016

I must correct Ms Ritchie: the best dairy products are from Shropshire. I congratulate Mr Williams on securing this debate.

When I was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 2005—11 years ago—we set up the all-party group on dairy farmers because at that time Shropshire farmers were on their knees. We heard a lot of anecdotal evidence about the terrible financial difficulties they were suffering. Eleven years on and we are in almost the same place as then—indeed, we are probably even worse off. It is rather frustrating to have repeated debates in Westminster Hall while the situation continues to worsen, so I am really looking forward to the Minister giving us some heart-warming news of specific Government action on this issue.

I am delighted that tomorrow I will be attending the Shropshire business awards 2016 at RAF Cosford to support my friend, Daniel Morris, a cattle farmer, in the farming section. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will wish my constituent every success.

When we set up the all-party group on dairy farmers, more than 200 MPs joined—it was one of the largest all-party groups in the House of Commons. We produced a report, and during the process interviewed a lot of people, even going to Brussels to take evidence. We came up with two recommendations: first, a grocery adjudicator, and secondly, a limited cull of badgers. We took those recommendations to the then Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, David Miliband, who basically laughed us out of his office saying that both were completely impossible and would never happen. I am extremely pleased that the Government have introduced the Groceries Code Adjudicator but, as has been said already, we want to hear what teeth the adjudicator is going to be given and about the roll-out of limited badger culls.

Simon Hoare Conservative, North Dorset

I represent an area that has had a cull, and the data I have seen are certainly encouraging. Nevertheless, we should not simply lay the blame with the Labour Secretary of State at that time, because later the then Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Clegg, put the brakes on the rolling out of the cull in Dorset. A Conservative Secretary of State took those brakes off.

Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

I am extremely grateful to my hon. Friend for that intervention.

I want the Minister to remember what I am about to say and to have these figures indelibly imprinted on his mind, in perpetuity. In Shropshire in 1997, we slaughtered 47 cows because of bovine tuberculosis; last year, the figure was more than 2,000. It has gone from 47 a year to 2,000 a year. We have a bovine tuberculosis crisis in Shropshire. I have said this in previous debates and I do not mind saying it again. I have sat round a kitchen table with one of my dairy farmers, Chris Bulmer from Snailbeach, after his entire herd had been taken away. We sat together crying, such is the emotional drain on farmers and their families.

The biggest organisation in my constituency is the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. What is its symbol? A badger. I know that many people from the trust would like to hang me from the nearest lamp post because I advocate a cull. They would have difficulty because I am so tall.

Neil Parish, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Sub-Committee

Unless they got a higher lamp post.

Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

They would need an extra-high lamp post. There has been fury and blood on the carpet at the meetings I have had with the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. It has to understand that nobody wants the needless slaughter of animals, but when our fellow human beings—our fellow citizens—are going through such appalling financial misery, the time has come for the Government to act boldly and roll out the cull to other parts of the country.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor recently announced in his Budget an extremely controversial measure on fizzy drinks. It is not universally popular, but he took a really bold move that is shaking the industry. Something of a similar nature must now take place to protect our dairy farmers. We cannot allow this vital industry to be decimated.

Daniel secures Parliamentary debate on his UKTI Report

 

After spending the last 10 months writing a report on the efficiency and effectiveness of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and how the body can help boost British export, Shrewsbury’s MP secured a debate in Westminster Hall in the House of Commons pressing the Government to help increase British Exports.

Daniel Kawczynski MP outlined the findings of his report during the debate, as well suggesting courses of actions business mentioned to him whilst being interviewed for the report. Other MPs referenced Daniel’s report and based a lot of their contributions in the debate on Daniel’s report.