PRIME Minister, Boris Johnson paid tribute to British farmers during a House of Commons statement on COP26.

Mr Johnson’s comments followed a question by Penrith and The Border MP Dr Neil Hudson, who asked the Prime Minister to support the brilliant work of British farmers with reference to food production and the environment in light of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow.

Dr Hudson asked: “I congratulate the Prime Minister, the COP President and your teams on the historic achievements in Glasgow. For me, it was reassuring to attend the Conference and see nature and sustainable farming at the heart of the programme.

“Does my Right Honourable Friend agree that food production and looking after the environment go hand in hand, and this is what our fantastic British farmers do each and every day?”

The Prime Minister replied: “I passionately agree with that and I know that UK farming is getting cleaner and greener the whole time and I pay tribute to the UK farming industry, which leads the world in setting standards.”

Dr Hudson commented after the Commons session: “Sustainable farming and protection of nature are cornerstones of British farming and I am pleased to see the Prime Minister pay tribute to this.

“I will continue to stand up for the farming community who play such an important role in environmental stewardship while producing high quality food with high animal welfare standards.

“We can be a beacon to the rest of the world on this. More broadly, while there’s no doubt that we’re closer to a greener, cleaner, safer planet after the important agreement sealed under UK leadership, the real success of COP26 will only be determined in the months and years ahead.”

Governments and businesses joined farmers and local communities at COP26, securing new agreements to protect nature and accelerate the shift to sustainable agriculture and land use practices by making them more attractive, accessible and affordable than unsustainable alternatives.

Earlier this month Dr Hudson highlighted the awful crime of animal theft and pressed the Justice Ministers to do more to crack down on it.

Dr Hudson asked: “As a veterinary surgeon I really welcome that the Government has listened to our calls and is introducing a new pet abduction law. Sadly however in rural areas such as Penrith and The Border, other animals are also frequently being stolen including farm animal livestock, horses and ponies. Will my Right Honourable Friend look to expand this legislation from pets to encompass all animal abduction offences such as farm livestock and horses, so we can try to put an end to the horrific and distressing crime that is animal theft?”

I look forward to seeing what Ministers come back to me with as this is clearly something that needs to be delivered across government departments.”