Labour will pledge an end to the badger cull, a ban on neonicotinoids and will help promote ‘cruelty free farming’, according to a leaked draft copy of its election manifesto.
The 43 page manifesto – due to be published in full next week – will be considered at a meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on today (11 May) before being finalised and distributed to voters.
The document claims the Conservatives have ‘failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of the farming, food and fishing industries’.
It describes the Conservatives’ threatened ‘bonfire of red tape’ as ‘a threat to our environmental protections and to the quality of our lives’ and pledges various measures to tighten legislation in a number of areas affecting farmers.
Among policies which will affect farmers and rural businesses include an end to the badger cull and a ban on neonicotinoids, to help protect bees.
The manifesto also takes a strong line on animal welfare and the environment. It promises to use funds under a 'reconfigured domestic agricultural policy' to support sustainable practices.
The manifesto reads: "We will use reconfigured funding streams to promote cruelty free animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure better enforcement of agreed standards."
Corbyn wants EU workers employed across farming, fishing and food manufacturing to remain in the UK and reinstate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme.
Other rural issues
The manifesto also states an expansion in the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to ensure suppliers and consumers get a fair deal.
Corbyn promises high-speed 30mbps broadband for every home by the end of the Parliament.
Farmers across the country are being held back by unreliable and slow broadband connections which is hitting productivity in rural areas, according to a report.
Corbyn will end fracking for shale gas. This will be seen as a boost for communities who fear the impact on their local areas.
Farmers have previously said they hold fears of local water pollution due to potential fracking operations.
On the subject of fox hunting, the manifesto says: “Labour banned fox hunting, Theresa May opposed it. Only a Labour government will maintain the ban.”