CLA Cymru has vowed to keep on fighting for Welsh farmers despite the Senedd’s rejection of the motion to annul the Welsh Government’s proposed new agricultural pollution regulations last week.
Says Fraser McAuley, CLA Policy Advisor, “The Government’s laudable objectives to tackle the problem can be better met by an approach which focuses attention where it’s most needed. This targeted approach means scarce resources can be better applied. Where a problem doesn’t exist we should not be imposing unnecessary costs on a hard-pressed sector in a future of uncertainty.”
“The crude closed-periods for nutrient-spreading will do everything to encourage more intense spreading in the open-periods. This limits farmers’ capacity to choose the right ground-conditions to add nutrient. In some instances this could make matters worse!”
Fraser continues, “Affected farmers will need support to upgrade and increase slurry storage-capacity to comply. We really don’t believe the Welsh Government has allocated sufficient resource to do the job and we will be pressing-hard for more capital support through the sustainable production and sustainable farming grants. Penalising hard-stretched farmers will lead to more departures from the business by small operators. The livelihood of many small family farms is at-stake.”
“We’ve a great opportunity to get this right in the White Paper on Agriculture. Here we can create a solution which fits into the big picture of creating a prosperous farming sector based on the principles of sustainable land management. This is the real goal.”