FARMERS’ UNION OF WALES WELSH ASSEMBLY ELECTION MANIFESTO

WALES WITHIN EUROPE
The most recent analysis of our rural and urban areas
reveals that almost 35 percent of Wales’ population
live in rural areas – the highest proportion compared
with all other regions in England and Wales.
The contribution of agriculture to the economy of
our rural areas and Wales as a whole cannot be underestimated;
Welsh Farm Business Survey figures show
that, despite low profitability, a typical farm can
annually contribute between £100,000 and £250,000
to the wider economy.
Yet such direct contributions are just the tip of the
iceberg; our food and drinks industry is worth £5.2
billion to the Welsh economy, and agriculture has
been identified as the most significant contributor to
an estimated £1.9 billion in ‘wildlife related activity’
– while the contribution of generations of farming
families to the unique landscape and culture so important
to our tourism industry is clear to all.
Put simply, farming is the bedrock of our rural communities,
without which vast direct and indirect contributions
to Wales’ economy as a whole would
disappear.
The latest Farm Income figures, which relate to the
2014-15 financial year, give rise to major worries; yet
a poor exchange rate and related factors such as the
collapse in farmgate prices mean the figures for the
2015-2016 year will be lower again – falls which will
have a significant knock-on effect on the wider Welsh
economy.
These come despite the market protection measures
and support provided through the EU, and according
to a 2015 study by Agra Europe, the combined impact
of EU import tariffs, the abolition of agricultural support
through the CAP and market liberalisation which
could accompany a ‘Brexit’ would result in 90 percent
of UK farmers going out of business – with the
impact for Welsh farmers far worse than in other
regions.
The knock-on effect of this for our rural communities,
and Wales’ economy as a whole, cannot be
underestimated, and the collapse in incomes which
occurred during our partial exclusion from the common
market during the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease
crisis represents just a taste of what Brexit could mean
for our rural communities.
Yet no detailed work has been undertaken to quantify
such impacts in order to inform lobbying positions
ahead of a vote on EU membership or
contingency plans should such an exit become
inevitable.
Moreover, given the pressures from some to water
down the CAP and market protection measures even
if we remain in the EU, such work is essential in terms
of ensuring Assembly Members and the Welsh Government
are well-informed and lobby at every level
for what is best for Wales, rather than passively
accepting policies which continental politicians of all
political persuasions recognise as potentially disastrous
for rural areas.
In order to address such concerns, the next Welsh
Government should:
* Early during the next Assembly term instigate
detailed further research into Wales’ rural and wider
economy, agriculture’s place within it, and the primary,
secondary and tertiary businesses which are reliant
on agriculture
* Identify, qualitatively and quantitatively, the likely
impacts of further reductions in CAP support, market
liberalisation and the UK’s exit from the EU on
Wales’ rural and wider economy, including in terms
of the incomes and viability of farm businesses and
the secondary and tertiary businesses which rely on
them
* Proactively lobby at all levels for what is best for
Wales in terms of EU membership and the future of
the CAP
* Draw up contingency plans in order to negate the
adverse impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
BETTER REGULATION
As many farm incomes have fallen to their lowest levels
for over a decade, other businesses are still struggling
to recover from the financial crisis, and public
bodies – most notably local authorities – continue to
slash services as a result of vast cuts to their budgets.
The causes of such pressures are often outside the
control of the Welsh Government, including many of
those which result from increase bureaucracy through
EU regulations. However, many of the rules and regulations
which add to costs fall directly within the
control of the Welsh Government, while others are
UK or EU regulations subject to Welsh interpretation.
This has allowed some welcome moves to be made
in terms of reducing red tape, for example with regard
to implementing elements of the 2012 Working
Smarter report; however, numerous rules, restrictions
and policies remain in place which could be overhauled
in order to benefit our economy.
Far from taking a proactive approach to such opportunities,
elements of Bills, Acts and Orders passed or
proposed over recent years seem, despite best intensions,
more likely to add significantly to costs and
restrictions for public bodies, businesses and individuals,
and in the worst cases provide extra layers of
bureaucracy which will prevent actions which would
otherwise bring economic, social and even environmental
benefits to our communities.
The Farmers’ Union of Wales calls on the incoming
Welsh Government to:
* Review the financial and practical implications of
the Well-being of Future Generations Act and all
related legislation, and make necessary changes in
order to negate restrictions and costs for individuals,
businesses and public bodies inherent to the current
legislation
* Ensure prosperity and economic national indicators
for rural areas and sectors are prioritised in terms of
the Well-being of Future Generations Act
* Commit to ensuring area statements established
under an Environment Act are properly evidenced,
proportionate and do not add to economic pressures
by adding costs and restrictions for public bodies,
businesses and individuals
* Ensure those involved in policy development and
the drafting of legislation understand and take account
of the needs of rural businesses and make economic
considerations a key priority
* Avoid the gold plating of European legislation
under all circumstances
* Ensure all new and existing legislation is subject to
a ‘competitive disadvantage’ test to ensure Welsh
businesses are not burdened by regulations or restrictions
not present for those against whom we compete
within EU and global markets
* Proactively lobby Europe for reductions in unnecessary
bureaucracy
* Review progress in terms of the 2012 Working
Smarter recommendations
* Instigate a new Working Smarter review the scope
of which extends to all areas affecting rural businesses
and land use
* Continue to increase communication between all
levels of government in order to share information
and reduce the number of inspections for farm businesses
* Ensure that working partnerships and collaborative
working between Government and its Agencies is prioritised
to reduce bureaucracy and to encourage positive
engagement with the industry
* Make the reduction of costs, bureaucracy and red
tape a priority in terms of all future legislation
* Implement at the earliest opportunity CAP simplification
measures introduced by the European Commission
while continuing to lobby for further
improvements which ensure rules are proportionate
and minimise bureaucracy for farmers and Welsh
Government alike
* Ensure that indicative maps are recognised as such,
and not regarded as definitive either under legislation
or in terms of policies, and that fair avenues of appeal
are available for all designations
FARMGATE PRICES AND
LOCAL PROCUREMENT
Whilst many key factors affecting farmgate prices –
most notably the EU-Sterling exchange rate and global
supply and demand – are beyond the control of the
Welsh Government, others are not, and the FUW
believes that all government departments and public
bodies have a duty to support government priorities in
terms of boosting Wales’ farming and food industry.
Such support can come in many forms, be it through
regular meetings between ministers and retailers in
order to bolster support for Welsh produce and equitable
prices, financial support for initiatives which
boost farmgate prices, or the procurement of Welsh
produce by publicly funded authorities.
Whilst the proportion of local produce procured by
some public bodies has increased over recent years,
there remain significant numbers of administrations
which fail to support Welsh agriculture, choosing
instead to accept produce from countries which often
fail to meet the high production standards which are a
requirement in Wales.
Moreover, the nature of some procurement contracts
means that what appears to be a commitment to
procuring Welsh and British produce within procurement
rules can be circumvented by carefully worded
clauses.
The FUW believes the next Welsh Government
should:
* Meet regularly with retailers and processors in order
to encourage transparency and fairness within the
food chain, and equitable practices and farmgate
prices which support Wales’ farmers and economy
* Recognise that local procurement represents an
investment in Welsh businesses and raises the profile
of Welsh produce in the eyes of consumers
* Proactively encourage and facilitate public and private
sector procurement of Welsh produce in a manner
that supports small, medium and large processors
and cooperatives
* Instigate procurement policies which encourage the
creation of new companies and cooperatives, in order
to bring benefits in terms of local employment and
redressing imbalances that currently exist throughout
the supply chain
* Do so in a way which raises awareness of and confidence
in Welsh produce, both amongst Welsh residents
and visitors to Wales
* Allow consumers to make honestly informed opinions
regarding the provenance of the food they buy by
supporting moves to make clear country of origin
food labelling a legal requirement
* Ensure all Government Departments are aware of
the ‘Towards Sustainable Growth’ action plan for the
food and drink Industry and lead by example in terms
of local procurement
BROADBAND AND
ONLINE SERVICES
The range of services and opportunities which are
exclusively available through the internet has grown
significantly over the past decade, and access to
broadband is now regarded as a necessity by the
majority of UK businesses and households.
The FUW is fully supportive of moves which
encourage the use of online services where they are
available and practical in order to reduce administrative
burdens and minimise the risk of errors, and has
demonstrated this in terms of our support for RPW
Online and the instrumental role we have played in
increasing the proportion of online SAF submissions
to 72 percent.
However, with access to broadband still well below
the national average in many of our rural areas, and
farm businesses representing the highest proportion of
those with no broadband access, it is essential that the
limitations of online services and communications are
recognised, and that rural access to broadband is
increased. Moreover, given the rate at which the rules
relating to agriculture change, and the penalties associated
with breaching those rules, it is essential that
such changes are communicated to the industry in an
accessible format.
We therefore believe the incoming Government
must:
* Accept the Welsh Public Accounts Committee’s
November 2015 recommendations on next generation
broadband, with a particular emphasis on those rural
areas which currently have no broadband access
* Recognise the limited extent of broadband access in
many of Wales’ rural communities and ensure no
business is placed at a disadvantage as a result of the
move to online services
* Ensure paper alternatives to online services are
made available where necessary
* Continue to notify farmers of important information
directly relating to their businesses by post
* Ensure important messages such as changes to regulations
continue to be communicated by hard copy,
in the form of Gwlad
COMMON AGRICULTURAL
POLICY – POST 2020

Over the past five years both the European Commission

and the Welsh Government have, it is hoped,
learned important lessons in terms of planning for the
future.
The European Commission (EC) failed to secure
agreement for its proposed reforms in time to implement
the scheme in 2014, as should have been the
case, while the complexity of the regulations finally
passed meant the new Commissioner – Phil Hogan –
had little choice but to make CAP simplification an
immediate priority.
Despite the twelve month delay to the CAP implementation
date, the Welsh Government’s failure to
heed the FUW’s warnings by preparing for the new
CAP early on led to two legal challenges and limited
options in terms of the final payment models which
could be practically implemented in Wales.
As such, we are left with an imperfect Welsh Basic
Payment Scheme which fails to meet the key aspirations
agreed by government and industry, and costly
levels of bureaucracy which contradict the original
principles agreed by the European Commission and
Parliament.
The clear lesson for the EC is that, in light of codecision
making, it is essential that discussions on the
priorities and options available under the next CAP
must be started early – a concern already raised by the
FUW with Commissioner Hogan.
Meanwhile, the Welsh Government must also look
beyond the current CAP and undertake work early on
to identify those priorities and options which best suit
Wales’ agricultural industry in order to feed into discussions
at an EU level and help shape the next CAP
– moreover, concerns over whether the UK will
remain a part of the EU should not be used to justify
procrastination, not least since such work may also
inform policies should exit from the EU become
inevitable.
The incoming Welsh Government should therefore:
* Undertake detailed work to examine the possible
outcomes of adopting a broad range of Welsh basic
payment models post 2020
* Undertake mapping work in order to identify those
areas which might be used as the basis for future payment
models
* Investigate the benefits or otherwise of multi-tiered
payment systems akin to the Redistributive and Tir
Mynydd models in order to feed in to discussions at
an EU level
RENEWABLE ENERGY
For hundreds of years Wales’ mining, arable and
woollen industries relied on renewable energy in the
form of water and wind power, and by the end of the
industrial revolution in the mid-19th Century no hamlet,
however small, was complete without some form
of mill.
The revolution in renewable energy, brought about
by recognition of the need to reduce our reliance on
fossil fuels, has resulted in the development of new
commercially viable sources of renewable energy,
such as solar panels, as well as improvements in the
efficiency of wind and water power.
Despite Wales’ being perfectly suited for some
forms of renewable energy generation, the percentage
of electricity generated in Wales from renewable
stands at just 10 percent – 5 percent lower than the
UK average, and the lowest of all the UK devolved
regions.
Whilst the FUW remains neutral in terms of the
divisive issue of large-scale windfarms, we fully support
the development of appropriate on-farm renewable
energy sources, and believe Wales has only
scratched the surface in terms of the contribution
Welsh farms can make to green energy production.
The decision in 2015 by the UK Government’s
Department for Energy and Climate Change, which
has responsibility for major national energy projects,
to suddenly and drastically reduce support for renewables
not only compromises our ability to help mitigate
climate change, but has also led directly to
farmers and others losing significant sums already
invested in unfinished projects.Whilst such
decisions lie outside the control of the
Welsh Government, many of the administrative
obstacles which have slowed down or prevented he
establishment of on-farm renewables do not.
The FUW calls on the next Welsh Government to:
* Carefully consider the outcome of the Welsh
Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee’s
Smarter Energy Future for Wales inquiry
* Seek alternative and innovative ways in which funding
can be provided in order to develop on-farm energy
production
* Identify those barriers to on-farm energy production
which fall within the remit of Welsh Government and
seek to reduce bureaucratic burdens which prevent or
add to the financial and time burdens which prevent
developments
* Work with Ofgem and the UK Government to
ensure the costs of connection to the National Grid by
electricity companies are fair and proportionate
* Encourage and facilitate the use of wood and other
carbon-neutral sources of energy while ensuring food
production is not compromised.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
In direct contradiction to the views of the FUW and
the policies implemented by every other region of the
EU, the Welsh Government chose in 2013 to annually
reduce farm payments by 15% in order to fund
what was described as an ambitious Rural Development
Programme (RDP) – a decision which continues
to have a severe impact on farm incomes.
For upland farmers, whose incomes are the lowest
within the UK, such cuts have added to the damage
done by the decision by the previous coalition Welsh
Government to abandon Less Favoured Area payments;
a decision which is almost unique within
Europe and effectively replaced a simple and cheap to
administer compensatory scheme with the hugely
complex and costly Glastir agri-environment scheme,
all at a time when the public funding available to
administer such schemes was known to be falling.
As such, the FUW makes no apology for continuing
to support the reintroduction of an LFA scheme (now
referred to in regulations as an Area of Natural Constraint
scheme), a principle supported by political parties
of all persuasions across the EU, in order to
recognise natural constraints and reduce the administrative
burden and cost for all concerned, while ensuring
Welsh farmers are not placed at a competitive
disadvantage within our main markets.
Notwithstanding this, it is also notable that the
introduction of the Glastir entry-level agri-environment
scheme was heralded by the then Welsh Government
as a replacement for Tir Mynydd to which all
farmers throughout Wales would have access. As
such, in the absence of the reintroduction of a compensatory
scheme, all farmers should continue to have
access to Glastir Entry.
Such schemes represent just one element of the
Rural Development Programme, and the FUW has
consistently argued for a significant proportion of the
RDP budget to be allocated towards meaningful onfarm
investments which meet overarching objectives
for our key industries.
To this end, the FUW, NFU Cymru, CLA Cymru,
YFC Wales, HCC, AHDB Llaeth and DDC have
worked in partnership over the past year to develop
the principles necessary to deliver a productive, profitable
and progressive agricultural industry.
Central to this vision is large-scale support through
the RDP for the concept of single overarching strategic
initiatives which engage with individual businesses
over appropriate timescales in order to address the
key challenges faced both by those businesses and the
main sectors within which they operate.
Critical to this is:
* Strategic projects which engage large enough numbers
of farmers over sufficient timescales to secure
changes to individual businesses and entire sectors
* A single database by which all key data critical to
the development of individual farm businesses and
entire sectors can be stored and analysed in order to
identify progress and changing priorities over the
course of the scheme for government and the industry
* The incentivisation of data provision in order to
ensure sufficient engagement, recognition of key
challenges and ongoing development
* A small grant scheme targeted at addressing key priorities,
including those identified over time through
the central database
Such projects can only be described as ambitious,
but without such vision and sufficient funding Wales
risk repeating some of the failings of previous RDPs,
not least in terms of piecemeal stand-alone projects
and databases which fail to deliver key priorities for
sectors during the course of the RDP
Whilst knowledge transfer, innovation and advice
for farmers are an important element of the RDP, we
believe that these should complement the key strategic
initiatives and objectives identified above, rather
than being entities unto themselves
The FUW therefore calls on the future Welsh Government
to:
* Re-examine the case for the provision of ANC payments
in terms of the need to support disadvantaged
farms and rural communities; thereby ensuring ANC
payments in other regions of the EU do not place them
at an unfair disadvantage; and minimising the administrative
burden and cost associated with such
schemes
* Ensure all farmers have access to practical agrienvironment
schemes which take account of historical
farming practices and do not undermine the productivity
of farms
* Roll out plans to introduce a part-farm scheme
which is open to all farmers and involves minimum
bureaucracy
* Ensure that large scale targeted schemes, such as
those envisaged under the Nature Fund, do not compromise
or undermine the principle of allowing access
to agri-environment schemes by all farmers throughout
Wales
* Support the principles agreed by the industry group
in terms of delivering a productive, profitable and
progressive agricultural industry through single overarching
strategic initiatives
* Avoid at all costs strategic initiatives and other projects
which would result in piecemeal stand-alone initiatives
and databases
* Ensure that as much funding as possible is made
available to invest directly in farm improvements and
infrastructure which will improve farm returns and
supply chain efficiency
* Ensure all knowledge transfer, innovation and
advice services are worthwhile and likely to deliver
benefits over and above delivery costs
TOURISM, DESIGNATED
AREAS AND ACCESS
The importance of tourism to Wales’ economy and
the incomes of many farms which have diversified
cannot be understated.
However, such importance should not be allowed to
eclipse the industries which are essential to those
areas, not least agriculture, which has produced and
continues to maintain those features which draw so
many visitors to Wales.
While the large majority of such visitors are welcome
and have full respect for the Countryside Code,
others, through ignorance or sometimes maliciousness,
cause problems which can compromise animal
health and cost significant sums for farmers – the
majority of whom, including within our designated
areas, do not benefit from tourism income.
Moreover, improvements in transport networks
have resulted in increasing numbers of day visitors
making the most of access to the countryside without
bringing any economic benefits whatsoever to local
residents or authorities.
When those areas are designated, as is the case for
National Parks, residents are subject to significant
additional restrictions and costs not present in neighbouring
areas which cannot be recouped, either from
park authorities or through income from visitors to
those areas.
A recent Welsh Government consultation paper
suggested drastic increases in rights of access in
Wales in order to improve health and wellbeing.
Yet the paper conceded that, despite a three-fold
increase in the area of land accessible by right to the
public since 1998, the creation and extension of
National Trails, and the opening of 4,700 miles of
rights of way under improvement plans, the proportion
of Welsh residents frequently undertaking outdoor
recreation had not altered to any extent.
Such data demonstrate why the focus should be on
encouraging responsible use of existing access in
order to improve the health and wellbeing of all
Welsh residents, rather than yielding to the views of a
small minority who would see increases in access
which compromise the rights of others, undermine
economic activities and severely exacerbate current
problems caused by irresponsible access.
By comparison, a number of the recommendations
made in the final report of the Review of Designated
Landscapes in Wales are positive. However, others
risk increasing costs and burdens for businesses and
residents within such areas, while the key issue of
ensuring revenue is generated which can be used to
compensate those who are disadvantaged by
increased restrictions and costs is largely ignored.
The FUW believes that the next Welsh Government
should:
* Encourage appropriate growth in tourism which
benefits rural areas and bolsters links with and benefits
for local food producers
* Take responsibility for redoubling efforts to ensure
that all those visiting the countryside obey the Countryside
Code
* Focus on ensuring responsible use of existing access
by all sections of Welsh society in order to improve
the nation’s health and wellbeing, while opposing
moves to exacerbate existing problems by increasing
access rights to land and waterways
* Work to ensure that residents and businesses within
designated areas are not subject to restrictions and
costs not present outside those areas, either by removing
such inequalities or compensating those affected
by them
* Introduce ways by which greater revenue can be
generated from those visiting designated areas, particularly
day visitors, in order to benefit residents, businesses
and authorities
ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH
The announcement in November 2015 of further cuts
to central UK funding for activities undertaken by the
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) represent a
major concern in terms of our ability to detect and
tackle animal and plant health issues – not least given
the devastating impacts animal diseases have had on
Welsh agriculture over the past two decades.
The complex relationship between the devolution of
animal health powers to Wales and the need to protect
the UK in a concerted manner means that the impact of
such cuts for Wales are difficult to assess – but, if
nothing else, this highlights the need for clarity in
terms of the boundaries between devolved and national
issues and the funding allocations associated with
devolved issues.
During recent years, a number of industry groups
established under the Animal Health and Welfare
Strategy Steering Group to look at specific diseases
have provided a template for future working – while
also highlighting some of the obstacles which can be
encountered due to the complex balance between disease
control and economics.
A significant challenge faced by industry and government,
including in terms of finding common
ground with regard to key issues, has been the implementation
of changes relating to holdings and animal
movements – particularly in terms of quarantine units
which both minimise the risk of disease transmission
and enables commercial movements to take place.
With all sheep movements due to be recorded on the
Welsh Government’s EIDCymru database from 2016,
the prospect of such a change raises significant concerns
within the industry, and many remain confused
as to what they will be expected to do, particularly if
accessing the online system is not an option.
Notwithstanding such concerns, by design, EIDCymru
is capable of being far more than a sheep
movement database, and already has features which
would allow it to become an important tool for the
eradication of BVD.
As such, and as a database which is effectively
owned by both the Welsh Government and industry
(though HCC), it is believed that EIDCymru is the
only acceptable candidate in terms of a central database
by which all key data critical to the development
of Welsh agriculture – including animal health data –
should be stored and analysed as part of RDP funded
strategic initiatives.
The FUW calls on the next Welsh Government to
* Do all it can to minimise the adverse impacts of cuts
to APHA funding, whilst seeking to maintain levels of
service for farmers, including through the Wales Veterinary
Science Centre in Aberystwyth and a centre of
livestock expertise in Carmarthen
* Strike an appropriate balance between changes to
movement rules and the rationalisation of the County-
Parish-Holding (CPH) system and the economic needs
of the industry, particularly in terms of the use of practical
quarantine units for all species
* Ensure that the new Animal Health and Welfare
Framework Group engages and consults with farming
organisations and that the benefits of stakeholder/government
disease-specific task and finish groups continue
to be investigated
* Provide clear and comprehensive guidance and support
in relation to the rollout of EIDCymru and other
changes relating to animal movements and holdings,
while monitoring such changes in order to negate
problems and minimise the risk of unfair penalties
* Make EIDCymru a central database by which all key
data critical to the development of Welsh agriculture –
including animal health – is collated
BOVINE TB
It is a sad reflection of the ongoing problems caused
by bovine TB (bTB) that the disease warrants its own
section in the FUW’s Manifesto, and while extremely
encouraging improvements have been seen since
2009, the latest statistics show a worrying increase in
the proportion of animals testing positive for bTB,
while the number of animals slaughtered in Wales in
the first month of 2015 due to TB is close to the number
slaughtered in the whole of the UK three decades
ago.
Whilst the FUW is generally supportive of blanket
measures such as annual and pre-movement bTB testing,
considerable concern exists regarding the proportionality
of some measures and the severe economic
restrictions they place on farms – in particular as a
result of the European Commission’s refusal to allow
proportionate judgements to be made by state veterinarians
following outbreaks.
Moreover, there can be no doubt that, had the current
Welsh Government heeded the advice of its own
experts in terms of addressing the disease reservoir
which exists in badgers, levels of bTB would be lower
than they currently are.
The decision in 2012 to replace plans to cull badgers
in the IAA with a vaccination programme was branded
by the FUW as a betrayal of Welsh farmers and taxpayers,
particularly as the Welsh Government’s own
financial assessment concluded that culling would, by
saving the lives of cattle, result in a net financial benefit,
while vaccination would lead to a net loss of £3.5
million.
The Welsh Government’s U-turn on badger culling
led the Bovine Tuberculosis Subgroup of the EU Task
Force for Monitoring Animal Disease Eradication to
conclude that “The Welsh eradication plan will lose
some impetus as badger culling will now be replaced
with badger vaccination… There is no scientific evidence
to demonstrate that badger vaccination will
reduce the incidence of TB in cattle. However there is
considerable evidence to support the removal of badgers
in order to improve the TB status of both badgers
and cattle.”
With the Republic of Ireland attributing its success
in halving bTB incidents to proactive badger culling,
and routine badger culling in countries such as France
and Germany maintaining bTB incidence levels close
to zero, the Union remains resolute in its belief that
Wales must return to a science led approach to controlling
bTB in badgers.
Whilst minimising disease transmission between
badgers and cattle is often impossible, particularly in
extensive systems, the FUW has long argued for those
neighbouring bTB outbreak farms to be informed of
the location of outbreaks in order to allow them to take
steps to minimise contact with animals which may present
a disease risk.
Whilst such moves continue to be rejected by Government
on the grounds of data protection, in January
2016 the current Welsh Government intends to publish
details of the geographical locations of all Welsh incidences
on a publically available interactive web-based
map.
Such a move has already been shown in England to
be open to abuse by animal rights campaigners, and,
given the high proportion of Welsh farmers who do
not have access to the internet, and the possibility that
such information may not represent the precise location
of outbreaks, the FUW believes that making such
information available to the public while continuing to
fail to inform neighbours is inappropriate.
The FUW calls on the incoming Welsh Government
to:
* Properly balance the economic needs of farm businesses
against the need to minimise disease transmission
* Ensure that proportionate penalties are only applied
where they are appropriate, and that the practicalities
of farming in the real world are taken into full account
when considering appeals against penalties and sanctions
* Introduce an exemption from the requirement to premovement
test for 60 days after a clear test for movements
from high risk parishes or regions, and 180 days
after a clear test for movements from low risk parishes
or regions
* Urge England to bring its rules in relation to animal
testing in line with those present in Wales
* Implement a badger culling policy at the earliest
opportunity, in line with official ministerial advice
previously received by the current Welsh Government,
in order to replicate the positive outcomes seen in
countries throughout the world
* Ensure those neighbouring bTB outbreaks are
informed of the location of those outbreaks, and that
information relating to the geographical location of
holdings suffering outbreaks is not made available to
the general public

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.