The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will return to the Commons later right now for its third studying. The piece of laws was introduced to the decrease home by the Brexit-backing Environment Secretary George Eustice in an try to advance upon article 13 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, which the UK was a signatory to as a member of the Brussels bloc.
But the Liberal Democrats have added an amendment to the invoice which might power the Government to publish the variety of animals killed by sewage dumping in rivers yearly.
The amendment might additionally lead to the “naming and shaming” of water corporations who’re discovered to dump sewage in rivers which leads to animals being killed.
Speaking concerning the amendment, the Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for rural affairs Tim Farron mentioned: “This is a nationwide scandal.
“Animals are swimming in filth and their habitats pumped filled with sewage but the Government refuses to act.
“Enough is sufficient, we’d like to title and disgrace water corporations that are being discovered to destroy valuable wildlife habitats.
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“My amendment can be a game-changer in making use of stress on water corporations to act.”
The Westmorland & Lonsdale MP, who led the Liberal Democrats from 2015 to 2017, added: “Every yr they might face damning figures on the variety of animals killed by sewage.
“There can be no hiding from the information.
“Above all else, we’d like an finish to these sewage dumps and for water corporations to pay for the mess they make.
“The public gained’t abdomen this nonsense any longer.”
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The Liberal Democrats additionally demand an finish to sewage dumping in rivers and have proposed a Sewage Tax on water corporations to fund a clean-up of rivers, lakes and chalk streams.
Large water trade corporations recorded big working earnings of greater than £2.8billion in 2020/21, together with United Utilities which made £602.1million.
However, the amendment comes after a report final month revealed so-called “endlessly chemical compounds” utilized in non-stick saucepans and meals packaging have been present in otters.
Otters have been outlined as “close to threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List in 2004 and are estimated to have a British inhabitants of simply 10,300.
Boris Johnson got here beneath stress final yr following a separate piece of laws relating to sewage in rivers after 22 Tory rebels threatened to scupper a scheduled vote within the Commons to power organisations to present a discount in sewage overspills over the subsequent 5 years.
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The Government subsequently made a U-turn forward of November’s COP26 summit in Glasgow to put in place an obligation on corporations to “take all affordable steps to guarantee untreated sewage will not be discharged from storm overflows into inland and coastal waters”.
The debate additionally legislation Remainers and Leavers face off but once more after the Europhile former Transport Secretary Lord Andrew Adonis mentioned in a now-deleted tweet: “Brexit is inflicting uncooked sewage to be dumped in rivers.”
The Eurosceptic Environment Minister Lord Zac Goldsmith responded within the higher home.
Lord Goldsmith, who was unseated by Sarah Olney from the Liberal Democrats in Richmond Park in 2019, mentioned: “He could have been pushed to distraction by Brexit however he isn’t a silly individual, he desires his phrases to have penalties.
“In this debate on sewage, he has completely lined himself within the stuff and so disgrace on him.”