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Threats to UK biodiversity at heart of Lords debate

19 January 2024

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Members of the House of Lords debated the threat of infectious diseases to UK biosecurity, including human, animal and plant health, on Thursday 18 January.


Lord Trees (Crossbench), Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Parasitology and former head of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Liverpool, put forward the debate.  

This was a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.      

Members speaking  

Contributing members included:

Opening the debate, Lord Trees said:

'Climate change is one driver of changes in infectious disease geography. A major recent review concluded that over half of infectious diseases of humans can be aggravated by climatic hazards.'

Lord Douglas-Miller (Conservative), Minister for Biosecurity, Animal Health and Welfare, responded on behalf of the government, making his maiden speech in the House of Lords:

'Upholding high biosecurity standards is paramount for food production and food safety, for human and animal health, and to support our economy and trade.'

Get involved  

Watch and read the debate   

Find out more about the issues discussed: catch up on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore background information

Find out more in the House of Lords Library briefing on the debate.

Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.

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