Europe must act on intensive farming to save wildlife, scientists say
The EU’s common agricultural policy (CAP) should be overhauled urgently to stop the intensification of farming practices that is leading to a steep decline in wildlife, scientists from across the bloc have urged.
Five organisations representing more than 2,500 experts have written to Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming president of the European commission, and the European parliament, to demand major changes to the way the CAP operates.
Under current rules, farmers are rewarded for the land they farm, and can apply for supplementary subsidies based on implementing measures to protect the environment and preserve wildlife and flora. This system is regarded as an improvement on its predecessor, which encouraged over-supply in some areas by awarding production-based subsidies, leading to the infamous butter mountains and wine lakes of previous decades.