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Rural Development Programme: Animal Welfare

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 17 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what account was taken by his Department of the guiding principles of the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain and England Implementation Group indicators in drawing up the draft Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13; (136420)

(2) what assessment he has made of the likely contribution of measures contained in the draft Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 to meeting the targets for 2014 set out in the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain; and if he will make a statement;

The Rural Development Programme for England 2007-13 will support a range of existing Government priorities. In deciding how to use the programme, we have taken account of other mechanisms and sources of funding available to address our priorities, and of the responses to the consultation on the programme’s priorities that ran last year.

The main focus of the programme will be environmental outcomes, in particular maintaining our commitment to Environmental Stewardship. The programme will also be used to help make agriculture and forestry more competitive and sustainable, and to enhance opportunities in rural areas.

The programme will include a wide range of indicators which will be used to evaluate its success in contributing to strategies such as the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain.