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CLA: 'It's Wrong to Blame Farmers for Loss of Wildlife'

27 May 2013

UK - The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has claimed it is wrong to place the blame on farmers for the loss of wildlife - in response to the newly released conservation report State of Nature.

The Association said the findings of the report would surprise farmers who have worked hard to improve farming practices and enhance the environment.

CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "Farmers have made a huge effort both voluntarily and through agri-environment schemes to encourage wildlife populations to grow.

"More than two-thirds of farmland is now managed under environmental schemes. It is unfair to blame farmers when there are so many other contributing factors such as climate change, urbanisation and predation."

Mr Cotterell welcomed Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon's comments at the launch of the report that "we must start paying for our natural world rather than take for granted what we get from it."

The CLA President said: "The Minister's statement was welcome, but we address how farmers will be able to afford to do environmental management work as CAP support falls."

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