Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

‘Ministerial Derogation on Fallen Stock welcome – but Minister must hear the concerns of farmers at the front line’

2013 Ebrill 2 5:40 PM

William Powell, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales & Spokesman on Farming and Food has responded to the written statement by Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food announcing a Derogation to allow on farm burial of fallen stock in the light of the crisis in Welsh farming caused by the severe weather.

William Powell AM commented:

'I know at first hand the difficulties that livestock farmers are facing in this crisis. The lambing season is demanding enough in good times - but the crisis that we have seen in parts of Wales has been heart rending. The Farmers' Union of Wales and NFU Cymru have rightly called for a derogation to deal with the immediate crisis - and although it has been an agonizing wait for farmers in the front line of this welfare crisis, the news will be welcome.'

'I share the unions' severe disappointment, however, that there is to be no programme of direct financial aid. Of course farming is a business that is exposed to risk from the elements, and that will always remain the case. However, I would urge the Minister to be in listening mode when he meets representatives of the Welsh farming unions in the next couple of days.'

'I look forward to meeting the Minister myself in Powys later this week to discuss the severe difficulties Welsh Livestock farmers are facing as a result of the extreme weather that has hit many parts of the country - and to press the case for assistance.'

'This March has seen the most severe conditions for fifty years culminating in severe blizzards covering vast areas of Mid and North Wales. Many farm buildings have given way under the sheer weight of snow - and large numbers of sheep and indeed ponies have been buried by snowdrifts. It has been and remains a physically and emotionally draining time for many farming families across Wales'

'Alun Davies' farm visit to Trefeglwys, Llanidloes on Thursday 4 April will be an important opportunity for him to see and hear for himself the sheer scale of the crisis that has unfolded over recent weeks. It is vital that all of us elected to serve the rural heartlands of Wales are able to listen directly to farmers who are at the front line in this unprecedented crisis - and to respond accordingly.'