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Farming

EU exit ‘catastrophic for Wales’

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Alarmed' by commentators' 'naivety': Rebecca Evans AMto conference.

Alarmed’ by commentators’
‘naivety’: Rebecca Evans AMto conference.

AHEAD of this year’s Royal Welsh Agriculture Show, Deputy Minister for Farming and Food, Rebecca Evans reiterated her concerns for the future of the farming industry in Wales in the event of an out vote in the forthcoming referendum on membership of the European Union.

With payments under CAP worth £240m to our farmers each year, the Deputy Minister said that cessation of this funding without any realistic prospect of the same level of domestic replacement from the UK Government, or of a sufficient period of time to allow farm businesses to mitigate the financial loss, would be hugely damaging to the industry.

The Deputy Minister said: “I have followed with interest the many discussions on European membership in the media and have been alarmed at the number of commentators who naively believe agriculture would see a reduction in so called “red tape” and that the industry would continue to receive the same level of financial support were we to leave the EU.

“In fact, withdrawal from the EU, and the impact that this would undoubtedly have in respect of the CAP, would be catastrophic for Welsh agriculture.”

The Deputy Minister officially launched Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020 (RDP) a fortnight ago.

The £900m programme is co-funded by the Welsh Government and the European Union, and the Deputy Minister announced that several new and important initiatives were to open during Show week.

Rebecca Evans has announced that three of those support mechanisms totalling £20m of support, the Sustainable Production Grant, Food Business Investment Scheme and Rural Community Development Fund, are now open, and she highlighted the importance of a collaborative approach with the agriculture industry to ensure that the outcomes sought are fully realised.

She said: “Last week I launched Welsh Government Rural Communities which will be more ambitious, innovative, and adaptable than previous programmes and will stimulate rural economies, enhance our natural resources and make a lasting difference to the lives of people all over Wales.

“This programme is a fantastic opportunity to support rural Wales and it further demonstrates the benefits of our EU membership. The previous RDP has already invested nearly £800 million into Welsh communities and rural business and I am determined to make the most of these opportunities. If we were to leave the EU our efforts to support our farmers and to realise our shared vision of a modern, professional, and prosperous farming industry in Wales, would be severely disadvantaged.”

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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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