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Farming

EU aid payments linked to milk production for UK farmers

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“We need a government that understands farming”: Sian Davies, NFU

“We need a government that understands farming”: Sian Davies,
NFU

UK dairy farmers will receive a one-off support payment linked to milk production to help with cash-flow problems caused by volatile prices, Defra has confirmed.
Ministers in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales had flexibility about how to allocate their share of the UK’s £26.2m overall direct aid package but all have opted to pay in line with England.
The united approach across the UK will make it easier for the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to adopt a standard method of payment and ensure aid reaches farmers’ bank accounts in December.
The UK’s overall direct support package is the third largest of all the member states.
In England, dairy farmers will share £15.5m in recognition of the prolonged period of low prices in this particular farming sector. Northern Ireland was given a boosted allocation – worth £5.1m – in recognition that Northern Irish farmers have been suffering from some of the lowest prices across Europe.
UK Farming Minister George Eustice said: “We recognise that many dairy farmers in the UK are suffering financially at the moment and the support will offer some relief.
“Dairy farmers are a vital part of our £100billion food and farming industry and I’m pleased to confirm that ministers across the Union have agreed to distribute the aid in the simplest way – linked to milk production – to ensure the RPA can get this money into farmers’ bank accounts promptly.”
In England and Wales, the one-off payment for an average-sized dairy farm would come out at around £1,800 per farmer.
“In Northern Ireland farmers will be allocated, on average, just short of £2,000. In Scotland, because they have larger dairy units on average, it will be just over £2,500.
Surprisingly, Andrew R.T. Davies, the Welsh Conservative Leader who has berated Rebecca Evans AM, the Welsh Farming Minister and the Welsh Government for not making payments to farmers before December has not jumped up and down with rage at the policy of the Conservative Government in Westminster on the same point. Perhaps ashamed of having his political opportunism exposed, Mr Davies has not offered a comment on the topic at this time.
Sian Davies, the NFU’s chief dairy adviser attended the meeting with Mr Eustice and reported back to the NFU, saying: “When we met with George Eustice this week, I called for a number of short-term measures, including prompt payment of BPS monies, giving farmers who’re losing money more time to pay tax which is due in January, plus bringing in the five year tax averaging that was announced earlier this year.
“We need a government that understands farming and that has a long-term ambition for the growth of our industry.”
Calling for specific action by the government, Ms Davies continued: “I also believe government has a role in urging allied industries and the banks to be supportive and understanding of the current market downturn. They can also make a difference when it comes to clearer labelling and I’m glad to see movement in strengthening the UK voluntary code on labelling across all sectors, and the plan to bring in more signatories, including DairyUK.
“The government’s own procurement policy for dairy products is another area which Defra should be looking at to ensure all departments are supporting British agriculture in its time of need. Defra has a role in promoting British agriculture outside our shores too, and I urged the Mr Eustice to raise our concerns in Brussels, where alongside changes to market management measures such as private storage aid and intervention, there is work being carried out on labelling, school milk, promotion and reopening the EU dairy package.
“We need a government that understands farming and that has a long-term ambition for the growth of our industry. It must send the right business signals to the UK’s dairy farmers in challenging times, as well as in the future.”

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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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