Emergency cuts to rural affairs budget risks environmental targets, says FUW

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has expressed major concern following an announcement made by Wales Finance Minister Rebecca Evans, on Tuesday 17 October 2023, which will see significant cuts to rural affairs spending in Wales.

The recently announced package of financial measures, which protect and increase both health and transport spending, see a total Welsh Government budgetary reduction of around £600 million; with around £220 million coming from cuts to spending.

FUW President Ian Rickman said: 

“The fact that the budget allocation for rural affairs could be potentially reduced by over £37 million represents a significant blow to the industry. This is extremely concerning given the important work being undertaken by the Welsh Government’s rural affairs department at a time of major transition and pressures for farmers and the rural communities they support.

Include changed livestock worrying legislation in King’s speech - FUW urges

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has written to Minister of State (Minister for Biosecurity, Marine and Rural Affairs) the RtHon Lord Benyon, requesting changes in the legislation surrounding livestock attacks to be cemented in the King’s speech in November, following the U-turn on the Kept Animal Bill in the summer.

Writing to Lord Benyon, the FUW highlighted that dog attacks on livestock in Wales and England continue to represent a significant financial, emotional and welfare issue for hard-working farming families.   

Although sparse, where data on livestock attacks has been recorded by rural crime forces, the results demonstrate that this is a highly important issue which shows no sign of declining.  For example, data published by North Wales Police reported more than 100 attacks in a 12 month period in 2013; with significant injuries and mortality levels reported.  

FUW welcomes Welsh Government commitment to higher nitrogen limit

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed a third delay to the introduction of a whole farm nitrogen limit and Welsh Government’s commitment to a higher nitrogen limit for next year.

The announcement by the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths, confirmed the whole farm nitrogen limit from livestock manure of 170kg per hectare will be delayed until 1 January alongside plans to bring forward amendments to the Water Resources (Control of Agricultural Pollution) (Wales) Regulations to implement an Enhanced Nutrient Management Approach from 1 January to 31 December 2024.

FUW explores hurdles facing dairy industry at Welsh Dairy Show

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is exploring hurdles facing the dairy sector in Wales at the upcoming Welsh Dairy Show (Tuesday 24 October). Farmers visiting the event at the Carmarthen showground are being asked to participate in a survey that will look at specific challenges dairy businesses face and how that is impacting their business decisions. 

Participants will be entered into a prize draw, with the top prize for filling out the survey being a £50 voucher from KiwiKit and an FUW beanie hat, which is sponsored by FUW Insurance Services. 

Speaking ahead of the event, acting FUW Milk and Dairy produce committee chairman, Brian Walters said: “Our dairy farmers are facing a myriad of issues that we will be exploring in more detail based on the results of the survey. 

Welsh Black takes top prize in photo competition

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has chosen its winning photograph for the 2024 charity calendar, which will be available to buy from county offices and at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair (27 and 28 November 2023), with £1 per sale going towards the FUW President’s charity, the Wales Air Ambulance. 

The Welsh Black with Cadair Idris in the background was taken by Sarah Carr and chosen as the top prize image. It will feature on the cover of the new calendars for 2024.

The other winners are: Rebecca Williams; Adrienne Thorpe; Elliw Jones-Evans; Adrian Morgan; Tracey Evans; Grace Marshall; Helen Powell; Chloe Hyde; Elliw Baines Roberts; Andrew Roberts and Gwenllian Evans.

The top prize for the front cover photograph is £250, which will be presented to Sarah Carr on the Monday at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair. The other winners of the competition, whose photographs are displayed in the calendar, will receive a copy of the bilingual calendar.

FUW President Ian Rickman said: “The competition has proven popular again this year and it was a pleasure to look through the entries. It was no easy task mind, as so many wonderful images were sent in from across Wales. 

“What this competition has highlighted again is that farming matters to all of us in one way or another and that our family farms are vital in not just the way of life here in Wales, but also in looking after the countryside and our livestock. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for showcasing farming and our countryside in such a wonderful way.”

The calendars will be available to buy from your local county office (keep a lookout on our social media pages as to when they will be available). 

They will also be sold on the FUW stand at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair for £5 each with £1 per sale going towards the President’s charity, the Wales Air Ambulance.


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