The badger cull has clearly been a political tool to keep traditionally conservative-voting farmers and farming communities onside. The government have been keen to show that they are doing something to help, that they are taking a strong stance. In reality this is manifesting in violence and cruelty rather than addressing the root cause - modern farming methods.
This is why as we marked the occasion of Right to Know Day, I joined the protest outside this latest reading room in Brussels. It is totally inappropriate for private companies to control transparency in this way and to put their profits ahead of our right to information. We need to put the "freedom" back into "freedom of information." so that we know how our health and environment might be impacted. As policy makers we have a right to verify or challenge findings and to work for the public good.
As a nation we ask a lot of the countryside. It must feed us, attract tourists, be accessible for recreation and exercise, generate energy and store carbon. At the same time it must clean the air, provide an escape and inspiration, manage flood water, provide habitats for flora and fauna, and be a good place to live and work for rural communities. We ask all this and much more.
We have a real opportunity therefore, as we move away from this flawed system, to treat Brexit as a blank canvas upon which to redesign our food and farming policy. If we paint the right picture, we can make huge changes for the better not only here in the UK, but globally too, by setting a new benchmark for others to follow suit.
With the referendum really heating up in recent weeks, there has been a surplus of outlandish claims coming from both sides. With plenty of column inches already dedicated to the Prime Minister's scaremongering about the dangers of World War 3 if we Leave the EU, the ordinary voter can understandably come to the conclusion the whole referendum issue is a bit of a storm in a teacup...
Food security is a major global issue. There are many facets of this complex issue, but there is a critical one that continues to be overlooked. This blind spot amounts to ignoring one of the most useful aides to people in the developing world, and the loss of a huge opportunity for international development. It is the contribution of working horses, donkeys and mules.
The headline figure is that we only provide 62% of the country's food supply. And this is set to get worse. The UK is on course to become the most populous country in the European Union - an estimated 77million people by 2040 - and official figures suggest our ability to feed ourselves will drop to just 53% by then. So, my message today is: it is time to Back British Farming.
As a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in the European Parliament I have questioned the wisdom behind aspects of the CAP's aims and implementation and I intend to be no less vocal on its contribution to the growing problem of land grabbing in the EU. Inequality is a growing curse in society: a growing inequality in land ownership will only exacerbate matters further.
We are living in an age where organic eating is becoming increasingly more popular in Britain. Local farmers markets and organic food cafes are the 'in thing' meaning consumers can enjoy a more personable and educational experience, knowing where their food has come from and that local farmers are supported in the process.
This is the first time MRSA of livestock origin has been found in British pig meat. The findings add to the growing evidence that overuse of antibiotics in farming is contributing to resistance in life-threatening infections in humans, and supports the call for urgent action to address inappropriate use in farming.
Agricultural development through productivity improvements, crop intensification, irrigation, and investment in infrastructure has significantly improved food security and the seasonal dimension of hunger worldwide in recent years. Yet seasonal hunger still persists among the rural poor, and should not be lost within poverty statistics or forgotten when addressing chronic hunger in policymaking.