28 May 1999
RSPB urges green subsidies to save wildlife

THE Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is urging millions of pounds to be spent in extra “green” subsidies to protect Britains wildlife from further depredation.

It warns that cattle and sheep producers face a grim future due to declining incomes. This means black grouse, skylarks, lapwings and curlews are among the birds also threatened by decline, because they rely on livestock grazing on farmland.

The RSPB warns in a report, The Future of Livestock Farming in the UK that current problems arising from the crisis over bovine spongiform encephalopathy, food poisoning scares, falling incomes and tighter environmental controls will be made worse by a number of political and trade factors.

These include measures to liberalise world trade, which intensify competition, and the cost of expanding the European Union eastwards.

The report urges the government to increase expenditure on agri-environmental schemes, special nature schemes and calculate all livestock subsidies in future on an area, rather than a headage basis.

  • The Daily Telegraph 28/05/99 page 4