Historic First Welsh Agriculture Bill to support farmers into the future

By newtown.wales

2 months ago 248 views

News Politics

The first ever Welsh Agriculture Bill has been laid before the Senedd today, paving the way for ambitious and transformational legislation to support farmers, sustainable food production, and to conserve and enhance the Welsh countryside, culture and language.

The new bill, which includes a complete ban on the use of snares and glue traps, which will be the first coutnry in the UK to introduce a complete ban also includes protection for agricultural tenants, powers for the Welsh Government on exceptional circumstances and the power to amend the common agricultural policy payments.

The bill also includes a new legislative framework for Sustainable Land Management, aimed at ensuring farmers can carry on producing high quality food and agricultural goods for generations to come. Sustainable Land Management is based on four key objectives which are to produce foods and other goods in a sustainable manner, to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to maintain and enhance the resilience of our ecosystems and to conserve and enhance the Welsh countryside, culture, and to sustain the Welsh language and promote and facilitate its use.

Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said:

“This historic Welsh Agriculture Bill not only impacts the agriculture sector, but everyone across Wales, from the food we eat, to how it has been grown, harvested, stored and prepared for sale. For the first time, we have the chance to build a system of support and legislation which works for our farmers, our sector, our land and our people.

“These are difficult and challenging times for our farmers.  Climate change, rising costs, new trade deals and the war in Ukraine, are just some of the issues they face.  This Bill provides a framework on which all future agricultural support will be delivered and outlines how we can keep farmers on the land, produce food sustainably and deal with the climate emergency.

“It also sets out how Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce a complete ban on the use of snares and glue traps.  These devices catch animals indiscriminately, causing great deal of suffering, and they are not compatible with the high animal welfare standards we strive for here in Wales.  A complete ban is the only way forward.

“In July I published the outline of our Sustainable Farming Scheme, and this Bill provides the framework on which all future agricultural support can be delivered. Our SFS codesign survey is open until the end of October. I would encourage as many farmers as possible to complete the survey and help us ensure our proposals meet their needs for the future.. 

“I’m extremely proud of our farmers and the agriculture sector here in Wales.  Through the provisions in the Bill, I want to ensure we can continue to support and encourage our farmers and producers to create and sustain a thriving agricultural sector.”

“I look forward to working with Senedd members during their consideration of the Agriculture (Wales) Bill over the coming months.”

The Minister will be making a legislative statement in Plenary on 27 September 2022. A copy of the Bill and its supporting documentation is available on the Senedd website.

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