Monbiot.com � Sending Off the Ref: "The government has now set up a task force to deregulate the farming industry(4). Farming is the major cause of the loss of biodiversity in the UK. It is one of the two top causes of water pollution. It has the highest rates of death and injury of any industry in this country(5). Now the industry has been asked to police itself.
The chair of the task force is the former director general of the National Farmers’ Union. His deputy is a senior NFU official. The rest of the task force is composed of another farmer, three corporate executives, a county council official and … well this is where it gets interesting. The eighth member, the government tells us, is “a Nuffield Scholar who has been involved with developing an animal welfare scheme”(6). In reality he is yet another farmer, who supplies milk to Sainsbury’s. This selective citation suggests dishonesty on the part of Caroline Spelman’s food and farming department. The last member is the head of public affairs at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust. This group purports to protect wildlife, but it runs fox snaring courses(7) and gives advice on setting spring traps to catch smaller predators(8). There is no one on the task force representing rural workers, and no one outside the industry seeking to defend the landscape or the wider environment, water quality or animal welfare."