NFU Cymru has slammed the Welsh Government for bundling together a number of important agricultural proposals in one ‘deeply worrying’ consultation.
The ‘Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’ consultation was launched last week and contains several measures which could have serious implications for farm businesses.
They include: increasing the range of activities which can take place on access land and public rights of way; introducing basic measures for farming to protect water, air and soil quality; abstraction reform; extending the jurisdiction of the Agricultural Land Tribunal Wales and further regulatory action on the use of snares.
NFU Cymru rural affairs board chair Hedd Pugh said: “From the title of the consultation, its significance would not be immediately apparent. However, on closer examination, it is clear the content is highly relevant to our sector and will be deeply worrying for our members.
“In our view, many of the chapters merit separate consultation in their own right and it is disappointing that Welsh Government has opted to bundle them together in this way.”
The union said it was ‘very disappointed’ the Welsh Government was fixated on achieving sustainable management of natural resources through costly regulation of farm businesses and suggested a voluntary, partnership approach would deliver better outcomes for farming, the environment and society.
“NFU Cymru is keen to ensure farmers are aware of proposals which could have profound implications on the day-to-day running of their farm businesses”, Mr Pugh added.
“We urge farmers to become involved in the consultation process and also to raise their concerns with their elected representatives to ensure their voice is heard.”
Farmers Guardian has approached Welsh Government for comment.
The consultation, which closes on September 13, can be found here.