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Farming

Farmers told to communicate more with the public

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‘A difficult global market’: NFU Deputy President, Minette Batters

‘A difficult global market’: NFU
Deputy President, Minette Batters

MINETTE BATTERS, the NFU Deputy President fears that farmers’ role as custodians of the land is being taken away from them and urges farmers to improve communication with the public to secure a better future for the industry. Speaking at a recent Montgomeryshire NFU Cymru County Conference, Minette Batters, said: “There is a strong lobby out there and the danger of course is that Government ever more frequently is listening to the anti-farming lobby with farmers ultimately paying the price. “As our population increases, diet evolves and climate changes, we will become increasingly dependent on our agricultural land for food production.

“The techniques of how we lobby as an industry are changing at a pace. What we need to do is turn the wheel, there is tremendous public support and interest in food and in what we as farmers do, so let’s embrace this and engage more with the public, get them on side, and then with their support we can then look forward to a better future for our industry.” As well as her work with shoppers via ‘Ladies in Beef’, through the NFU she campaigns for food and farming awareness to be at the heart of the school curriculum. She added: “For a start, and fundamental to all else, it’s about getting consumers on our side and the earlier in their lives the better. “There’s got to be a moral obligation somewhere.

With rising levels of obesity and the burden that puts on the health service not to mention food waste; we’re more often than not told that we can’t afford the time to teach children about the fundamentals of food, but I’d ask whether we can afford not to?” She also spoke of the frustration felt by many farmers not least dairy who are currently not getting a sustainable price for their produce.

She said: “The global market situation is difficult, there’s no doubting that fact but there are things we can do to improve the situation although we need the Government, UK processors, retailers and levy bodies to support our farmers in ensuring a long-term sustainable future for domestic production. Jonathan Wilkinson, Montgomeryshire County Chairman said: “These are challenging times at the moment, all commodities are suffering, but we have a good story to tell and one way we can do this is through harnessing the power of social media. “Let’s use it to tell the industry’s stories in its own words while reaching an entirely new audience in the process.”

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Farming

Council issues important update for poultry keepers in Pembrokeshire

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IN RESPONSE to the increased findings of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in poultry in England and in wild birds across Great Britain, combined with the increased risk levels, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales has agreed to the introduction of housing measures to help protect poultry and other captive birds from avian influenza. 

The All-Wales Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) has been extended and updated to include new housing measures which will take effect on Monday 29 November 2021. 

From 29 November 2021, all bird keepers in Wales will, therefore, be required by law to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of disease.

These housing measures are intended to build on the enhanced biosecurity requirements that are currently in place in the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone.

All keepers (regardless of numbers of birds kept) will therefore continue to be required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.

Preparatory measures may include
checking existing housing structures are fit for housing
considering how welfare of birds can be enhanced while they are housed
and, where necessary, putting up additional housing or netting.

To assist keepers with this, guidance and a biosecurity checklist are available on the Welsh Government website.

Observing the strictest biosecurity measures in all aspects of poultry and bird keeping is the most effective way to reduce the risk of disease incursion to domestic poultry and other captive birds.

It is vital that strict biosecurity measures continue to be observed while birds are housed, as housing does not mitigate the disease risk as much as effective biosecurity.

Housing measures will also come into force in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from 29th November.

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Farming

Award for Inspirational Young Volunteers at Keyston YFC

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KEYSTON Young Farmers Club (YFC) volunteers won the Pembrokeshire Volunteering ‘Mike Beckett’ Award (for group aged under 25) in November 2020, almost a year later they finally received their trophy.

When the pandemic started the group rapidly adjusted their activities, not only to continue to support each other, but also the local community. Helping local people with deliveries of shopping, prescriptions and even birthday cards. Providing a lifeline for those who were isolated but also being a friendly face – and ‘ray of sunshine’ in their yellow shirts. They also took their fundraising efforts online and with a ‘virtual’ Coast Path challenge raised over £2700.

Louise Wilkinson from PAVS (Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services) said, ‘I was very proud to present the young volunteers with their award, the group showed amazing resilience and community spirit, to support their community, during a very difficult time. Really demonstrating the YFC saying “good farmers, good countrymen, good citizens”.’

In October Eleri George, Chairman, represented Keyston YFC alongside other ‘Community Champions’ from across Wales at the official opening of the Sixth Senedd in Cardiff. During the event Eleri was able to speak to Prince Charles and the Queen about their work in Pembrokeshire.

The 2021 Pembrokeshire Volunteering Awards will be held on 9th December thanks to continued support from South Hook LNG.

Photo Caption: Louise presenting the Award to Eleri and members of Keyston YFC

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Farming

Increase in people hare coursing and lamping without landowner’s permission

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE’S Rural Crime Team is reporting an increased number of calls regarding persons suspected to be Hare Coursing, and/or lamping rabbits on private land, in which permission has not been sought.

The police say they are asking that land owners in rural locations please remain vigilant, ensuring to keep gates and access points secured.

A spokesperson for the police told The Herald: “We urge any land owners that suspect hare coursing is taking place on their land, to report it to the police immediately, as hare coursing is illegal under the Hunting Act 2004. Any land owners that suspect individuals are using their land to go ‘lamping’, without the landowners permission, should also contact the Police.

“We would ask members of the public not to approach any individuals that are suspected to be hare coursing or lamping. Instead, we ask that you contact the Police and provide as much detail as possible.

“You can contact Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.”

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