Penrith and the Border MP Dr Neil Hudson has visited the East Fellside farm of Hannah Jackson, widely known as the Red Shepherdess, to discuss the ongoing concerns regarding the Government’s Agriculture Bill and the need to back British farmers.
A first generation young farmer, Hannah had thanked Dr Hudson through social media for sticking up for British farming’ welfare and production standards.
The MP visited her in person to explain why he took a stand on the issue by voting against the Government when the Bill was debated in the House of Commons.
Dr Hudson said: “As an MP and a veterinary surgeon, I will make no apology for standing up for animal welfare and our farmers in Penrith and the Border by insisting on high animal welfare standards which would benefit farmers and animals not only in the UK but across the globe.
“I will keep going on this to uphold our high animal welfare and farming standards of which we can be so proud.
“The UK can be a beacon to the rest of the world on this.”
In a socially distanced walk around her farm, Neil and Hannah had a wide ranging discussion on current farming issues, including the need for agricultural colleges such as Penrith’s Newton Rigg to support the next generation of young farmers and the necessity of addressing mental health problems in rural communities.
Hannah said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Neil to the farm.
“As a farmer I appreciate the stance he has taken to protect the welfare and foods standards that our country is renowned for.
“Neil has truly represented the views of the people he was elected to serve and for that he has my utmost respect and thanks.
“We must now continue to fight to ensure that other MPs show the same courage and vote to preserve our standards.
“This is not just about a trade deal, this is a much bigger issue that involves both the welfare of animals and the long term health of our nation.”
Dr Hudson added: “It was a real pleasure to meet Hannah.
“Her passion and enthusiasm for farming and animal welfare is fantastic and I look forward to working with her to address the needs of our rural community.”