Ask the Minister: Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson has become the latest Minister to be quizzed by Telford's community campaigner Lucy Allan as part of her Ask the Minister web series. 

In the video, Lucy asks Mr Paterson about the badger cull, the floods in Ironbridge and the debate around genetically modified (GM) crops. 

Owen Paterson has become the latest Minister to be quizzed by Telford's community campaigner Lucy Allan as part of her Ask the Minister web series. 

 

In the video, Lucy asks Mr Paterson about the badger cull, the floods in Ironbridge and the debate around genetically modified (GM) crops. 

When asked about why people in Telford should be concerned about the badger cull, Mr Paterson explained: “Well, people in Telford should be very concerned about the terrible increase of bovine tuberculosis in our cattle population because we’re surrounded by dairy farms.

“There’s a dairy farm in Telford owned by Muller. The Muller plant is a huge operation in its own right and there are significant beef operations so everybody in Telford has a huge interest in seeing a healthy cattle population living along a healthy badger population and sadly by only addressing the disease in cattle, which is what we’ve done, we’ve seen an extraordinary increase in the disease in cattle and we’re killing 90 perfectly healthy cattle a day.”

He also criticised European opposition to allowing British farmers to grow genetically modified crops. He said: “Everybody in Telford who’s eaten meat has almost certainly eaten meat from a chicken or a pig or a bullock that will have eaten GM feed at some stage, so as far as I’m concerned this is an established technology and I’m working very closely with our pro GM partners at the council at a European level to allow those countries that do want to go ahead with GM to be allowed to do so, because otherwise I see Europe becoming the museum of world farming and we’ll slip further and further behind.”

Speaking about the floods earlier this year, Mr Paterson said: “I’m extremely, massively positive and determined to see these flood schemes through because they are horrendous floods for people’s private businesses, private lives, terrifying for children to get up in the middle of the night to filthy flood water, really bad for business and part of our long term economic plan over the course of this Parliament and the next is to make 465,000 properties flood proof.”

Lucy Allan said: “I’m very grateful to Mr Paterson for taking part in my Ask the Minister series. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook to submit your questions for the next video in the series.”