“We will consider the proposals when more details are revealed, but we would urge the
Welsh Government to start working with those who have put so much effort into making recommendations aimed at tackling a host of problems in a targeted and proportionate way.”
Plans to introduce pan-Wales legislation to tackle pollution incidents raises major questions about Welsh Government commitments to work in partnership with other bodies to tackle agricultural pollution, the FUW has said.
Cabinet secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural affairs lesley Griffiths announced the plans in a written statement on november 14 – but has yet to respond to a 114-page report containing 45 recommendations aimed at tackling agricultural pollution written by industry and government bodies, and which was submitted to her more than six months ago.
FUW land use and parliamentary committee chairman Tudur Parry said: “Taking all farms into account, pollution incidents involve less than 1 per cent of the farms in Wales, and the farming industry is fully committed to bringing this figure down given its impact.
“With a view to doing this, the FUW and a number of other bodies, including natural Resources Wales, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation and the Welsh
Government themselves, compiled a detailed report in april highlighting actions that should be taken to address such incidents.”
Mr Parry said that the ‘Tackling agricultural Pollution’ report by the The Wales land Management Forum sub-group on agricultural pollution aimed to eradicate agricultural pollution and ensure that agriculture does not prevent the flow of clean water from mountains and valleys.
“The report was sent to the Cabinet secretary more than six months ago, but no response had been received other than an acknowledgement.
“a great deal of work went into formulating these recommendations and we had expected by now to have received a substantive response and have begun working with Welsh Government to tackle a whole host of problems.
“natural Resources Wales is also at the beginning of a process of visiting hundreds of dairy farms to assess risks, and this should have fed into any decisions taken by the Welsh Government,” added Mr Parry.
He further said the announcement would appear to be a knee jerk reaction to television coverage of pollution incidents broadcast recently, and that this stood in stark contrast to the failure over a six month period to respond to a detailed report and recommendations compiled by experts and start implementing recommendations.
“It should also be noted that there is a huge amount of work underway already, including by members of the group, and given that this group is at the forefront in terms of understanding how best to tackle problems, this snap announcement raises major questions about the Welsh Government’s commitment to working in partnership.
“We will consider the proposals when more details are revealed, but we would urge the Welsh Government to start working with those who have put so much effort into making recommendations aimed at tackling a host of problems in a targeted and proportionate way,” he added.