Lords to scrutinise DEFRA

DEFRA will be under scrutiny in the House of Lords today (Thursday 6 December) during a debate about its role in the delivery of policy and funding to the UK farming industry.

Baroness Shephard of Northwold, former Conservative minister for agriculture, is opening the debate and will be joined by speakers with a range of expertise in farming and rural affairs.

Members scheduled to take part include:

· Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, Conservative, a former Professor of animal pathology at Cambridge University and an expert advisor on animal health and welfare.

· Countess of Mar, Independent Crossbencher, who is a farmer and cheesemaker.

· Baroness Byford, President of the Royal Association of Dairy Farmers and Conservative spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

· Lord Livsey of Talgarth, a former farm manager, who has been a Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Agriculture in both the Commons and the Lords.

· Bishop of Carlisle, who will be making his maiden speech.

Other Members on the list of speakers include: Lord Teverson, Lord Redesdale, Lord Taylor, Earl Cathcart, Earl Caithness, Lord Harrison, the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.  DEFRA Minister, Lord Rooker will be responding on behalf of the Government.

The House of Lords will sit at 11am for questions and the debate will follow. To watch the debate, click here.

A transcript will be available about three hours from the start of the debate (2pm Thursday) on the House of Lords website.

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