NFU Cymru president Stephen James told Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths he ‘made no apology’ for the union’s ‘strong and robust’ response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on TB at NFU conference this week.
The subject provoked an emotional outburst from one audience member, who expressed surprise Wales’ chief vet Christianne Glossop was still in place given current TB levels. He later turned down the offer of a personal meeting with Ms Glossop to discuss the issues he raised.
Mr James said: “I can say from having travelled up and down the country in recent weeks speaking to farmers they are as frustrated and concerned as they have ever been about bovine TB.
“I would ask the Cabinet Secretary to take note of the concerns raised within our response and of the need to carefully consider a number of the additional cattle controls being proposed and how these would work in practice.”
The NVZ proposals were also raised by Mr James, who accused the Welsh Government of not properly assessing the impact the designations would have on the rural economy, prompting Ms Griffiths to say she would ‘look at ways to support farmers going forward’.
The Cabinet Secretary used her speech to say UK agricultural policy ‘must not be imposed’ on Wales, and all British nations would have to ‘jointly agree’ to a common framework.
Those concerns were echoed by Mr James, who also called for funds in the UK to be distributed on the basis of the current CAP model instead of the Barnett formula, which he said would see Wales ‘lose out significantly’.