Tuesday 27 February, 2024

Somerset farmers write letter in protest against Jacob Rees-Mogg's comments on hormone-injected beef imports from Australia

North-East Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said he wanted to see the UK import hormone-injected beef into the UK because it was 'delicious and cheap'

clock • 2 min read
11 farmers in Somerset have written a letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg regarding his comments on hormone-injected beef imports from Australia (Jacob Rees-Mogg)
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11 farmers in Somerset have written a letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg regarding his comments on hormone-injected beef imports from Australia (Jacob Rees-Mogg)

Somerset farmers have written a letter to Jacob Rees-Mogg regarding his backing for intensive farming systems which would prioritise cheap imported beef and a lower standard of farming from abroad.

Mr Rees-Mogg, MP for North-East Somerset, had sparked outrage in the farming community when he said he wanted ‘cheap' hormone-infected beef imports to enter the UK from Australia which he described as ‘delicious' at the Conservative Party Conference.

See also: War of words as NFU president slams Jacob Rees Mogg as 'morally bankrupt'

NFU president Minette Batters said Mr Rees-Mogg was ‘morally bankrupt' after he made the remarks which she described as an ‘attempt to annihilate British agriculture'.

Farming Minister Mark Spencer later confirmed the UK would not import hormone-infected beef from abroad.

In response to his comments, 11 farmers from Sustain - an alliance of food and farming organisations - wrote an open letter to Mr Rees-Mogg where they described his comments as ‘undermining British farming values' at a time when the Government should be embracing sustainability and maintaining high standards.

The letter reads: "You (Jacob Rees-Mogg) prioritize cheapness, intensification and cost savings over any environmental or animal welfare standards.

"Intensive farming can drive poor outcomes for the environment and nature.

"We want to farm in a way that cares for our animals, preserves our landscape and leaves our environment in a better state than we found it, for the benefit of generations to come.

"Farmers need support to embrace agri-environmental schemes, and improve animal welfare standards, but how can we do this if these standards are being undermined by cheap, hormone injected beef flooding the market? 

"We urge you to consider the possible damaging ramifications of your words to farmers in your own constituency and in the UK as a whole."

You can read the full letter here.

See also: The impact of cow health on foetal development

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