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Nature Conservation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 226184, tabled on 26 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to preserve rare and native breeds by categorising genetic resources as public goods.

Answered on

4 March 2019

The Agriculture Bill sets out an ambitious future for farming outside of the EU, moving towards a system where public money is invested in things which the public value, in particular protecting and enhancing our environment. Public goods include clean air, clean and plentiful water, and thriving plants and wildlife.

Farmers and land managers can deliver these public goods through managing their assets. Genetic resources are an important asset. For example, preserving genetic resources can strengthen pest and disease resilience which contributes towards improving the health and welfare of livestock (clause 1(1)(f) of Agriculture Bill). Similarly, grazing native, local breeds in upland areas can contribute towards enhancement of our cultural and natural heritage (clause 1(1)(c) of Agriculture Bill).

The financial assistance powers in clause 1(1) and 1(2) in the Agriculture Bill could be used to support genetic resources where this contributes to the delivery of the purpose set out in the clause.