Agricultural Policy

FUW highlights critical issues during virtual Royal Welsh Show

The Farmers’ Union of Wales and FUW Insurance Services Ltd. highlighted and discussed many of the critical issues affecting the agricultural industry through a series of webinars at the virtual Royal Welsh Show.

The variety of webinars ranged from the rural housing crisis, climate change, mental health, digital connectivity and farm safety.

For those who were unable to join them during the show week, they are all available to watch via the members section of the FUW website and the Royal Welsh show events pages.

Rural communities across the UK have been under pressure due to second home ownership and related effects for decades, especially in ‘honeypot’ areas such as National Parks, but the pandemic has accelerated the trend, causing rapid house-price inflation and placing rural houses even further beyond the financial reach of rural and agricultural communities.

RHWG sets targets for eradicating certain animal diseases

The Ruminant Health and Welfare Group (RHWG) has recently set UK targets for the eradication of sheep scab and BVD by 2031 along with other goals during a workshop held on 29th June.

The workshop was attended by 70 leading farmers, vets and Stakeholders from across the UK to discuss and agree on the targets of the RHWG for the priorities identified by the recent grassroots survey results.

Sheep scab currently affects 10-15% of UK farms with around 8,000 outbreaks per year costing as much as £202 million.

The group set out co-ordinated control, compulsory annual screening, traceability and vaccination to work towards sheep scab eradication. Although a new Moredun vaccine is being developed which has shown to have up to 80% efficacy, it needs to be considered as one tool in the box for the sustainable control of sheep scab rather than a silver bullet.

New changes for Approved Finishing Units and Orange Markets

Since 1st July 2021, cattle from Approved Finishing Units (AFUs) in Wales and England and Approved Finishing Units (Enhanced) with grazing (AFUEs) inn England have been allowed to move under licence and be sold at approved TB dedicated sales - known as Orange Markets - in Wales and England.

Unsold cattle from an AFU in Wales can be returned from an Orange Market to an AFU.

An unsold animal returning from an Orange Market to an AFU does not count as a move for these purposes.

Animals that have already moved into an AFU in Wales from an AFU, or an AFUE, can be moved under licence to an Orange Market, but a licence condition will be that they can then only be sold at the Orange Market for slaughter, or to an AFU / AFUE in England.

This condition is not yet included in the licence, but in the interim period until the licence is updated, the licence can still be issued to AFU operators in Wales.

Guidance on the Welsh Government website and TB Hub is available.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water free pesticide disposal scheme relaunched

Dŵr Cymru - Welsh Water has relaunched its free pesticide disposal scheme for farmers & growers, gamekeepers, foresters and land managers in Wales as part of the PestSmart project.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce the risk posed by unwanted, out of date or revoked registered plant protection products and undiluted sheep dip.

Those who believe they are eligible need to register an interest before 5pm on 9th August 2021, however, it will be a first come, first served basis. An appointed contractor will then get in touch to confirm which products are eligible for collection.

Participants that took part in 2019 and/or 2020 can take part again in 2021 and dispose of 30L/Kg of eligible products for free.

For more information on the scheme and how to register, please click here.

To register via telephone with a member of the PestSmart team, please call 01443 452716

BeefQ videos on beef eating quality available to view

During the summer, the BeefQ project intended to work with Farming Connect and their demonstration farms to demonstrate how farmers can contribute to improving the eating quality of beef that they produce.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, they have instead produced a series of videos which help to describe how aspects of farm management can have an impact on beef eating quality.

How genetics influence beef eating quality and how producers can have a positive impact can be viewed on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eor2CtEf_m0


How animal health influences beef eating quality and how producers can have a positive impact can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jh-NyCCsrY


How animal handling influences beef eating quality and how producers can have a positive impact can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1shM7AveH2A

COVID-19 - Important Information for our members and customers

 

In view of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’ve taken the decision to help protect members, customers and colleagues by closing all FUW offices.

All staff will be working remotely for the foreseeable future, meaning our team will be continuing with exactly the same service but over the phone/email/skype or other means of remote communication instead. 

Members and customers should continue to contact us as they would, as all our team can be contacted via the usual phone numbers. 

We will be making sure that our service levels are maintained. SAF/IACS appointments will carry on as normal but will be conducted over the phone. 

Contact details for your local office can be found here: https://www.fuw.org.uk/en/contact-us 

 

Important links relating to the Coronavirus:


The TB Hub have prepared a list of FAQs regarding how TB procedures will be affected by the virus: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Red Tractor Updated Covid-19 position here: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Livestock Auctioneers Association LAA - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Business Wales (including details of coronavirus support for businesses): https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) available through participating lenders: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/

National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) guidance on Coronavirus: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/

National Milk Recording services 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus

Senedd Research Blog: https://seneddresearch.blog/2020/03/17/coronavirus-constituency-support/