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Welsh Government must recognise the depth of the Welsh Farming Crisis – William Powell AM

April 16, 2013 6:27 PM

William Powell AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Natural Resources and Food, has welcomed the Welsh Government's latest statement on the on-going snow crisis which has heavily damaged stock levels across farms in Wales, but called for further urgent action.

William Powell AM, Mid and West Wales, said:

"There is a clear deficit between the level and type of support offered by the Welsh Government and that offered by governments in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.''

I join with the Welsh Farming Unions in welcoming the Welsh Government's boost of £500,000 to a range of rural charities including the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), the Farm Community Network (FCN) and the Addington Trust.

The bringing forward of the Single Farm Payment is also useful. However, the absence of additional support for farming in the uplands - unique amongst the administration of the British Isles- following the demise of Tir Mynydd - is a serious indictment of this Welsh Labour Government.''

Today in the Assembly, I urged the Minister to identify funding from the underspend in the Bovine TB eradication budget to compensate farmers for the onerous costs of dead stock disposal, following the recent blizzards. Also, I reminded the Minister that the consequences of this disaster will continue to affect Welsh farming adversely well beyond the summer.

In particular, the loss of ewe lamb replacements for breeding next season will have a serious effect on Sheep farming in Wales. This is an area that merits urgent attention from the Minister. '

While Alun Davies has been active in meeting farmers across Wales, he has not always had his listening wellies on. The Minister has clearly reflected on his original hard line stance - but much remains to be done. The very future of farming in the Welsh Uplands depends upon it.''