Wake up, Lembit!

On Wednesday last week – with only a few hours of parliamentary time remaining – the Liberal Democrat PPC and ‘Middle Way Group’ chairman, Lembit Öpik, tabled an Early Day Motion on the rearing of game birds. It says:

“That this House notes the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes as laid before the House on 15 March 2010; believes that the guidelines in the Code are at variance with the three options which formed part of the consultation on the draft Code prior to its submission to the House; further believes that this incomprehensible and unilateral change to the Code invalidates the consultation process and significantly undermines the quality of the Code particularly in regard to guidelines on cages; and calls on the Government to withdraw the Code and to reformulate it in line with the feedback from experts and practitioners in the rearing of gamebirds.”

The purpose of an Early Day Motion is to get signatures, which is difficult in the extreme when you publish your EDM just hours before parliament ends. But the most bizarre consideration is that it’s taken Lembit almost a month from publication of the Code of Practice to get the EDM laid. Where has he been for the last month?

Some might wonder what his motivation is. That’s easy. His Montgomeryshire constituency includes the Bettws Farm game empire, recently the subject of a League exposé.

PS: The website for the Muddled Way Group; sorry, ‘Middle Way Group’ appears to have disappeared. Let’s hope the Group has disappeared too.

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