5 December 1997

CAP reforms will fail wildlife

THE future of Europes farmland wildlife could be under threat unless there are radical changes to the EU Commissions CAP reform proposals, according to the RSPB.

Its worldwide umbrella organisation, Birdlife International, this week urged the European Parliament to make the environment and rural development a central part of CAP reform.

Launching a new document, Agenda for Action: Reform of the CAP, the charity called for agri-environment spending to be increased from three to 25% and for the replacement of crop and livestock subsidies with basic area payments, conditional on good environmental practice.

Barbara Young, RSPB chief executive, said: "The present CAP reform proposals fail to take into proper account the protection of the environment and rural development. Reforms must include policy changes which meet the needs of the rural community as well as encouraging the conservation of farmland wildlife."