FUW welcomes decision to review pollution regulations

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed the decision of the Senedd to review the current Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations, which are currently being phased in and are set to cost the industry millions.

A joint opposition party motion called for a Senedd committee to hold an “urgent” review of the new regulations and the call for a review was passed by 58 votes to nil on Wednesday, June 9.

Responding to the news, FUW vice-president Dai Miles said:

“We are pleased to see that a robust discussion in the Senedd has led to all Welsh Senedd members backing a review into the regulations as they currently stand.

“The FUW and other industry bodies have repeatedly expressed our frustration and anger at the way these rules have been pushed through and warned of the dangers that come with what is currently being asked of the industry.”

Financial implications on farmers

Miles added:

“We sincerely hope that the review will take into full consideration the financial implications these regulations have on small and medium sized farm businesses and tenant farmers and that they also consider the social and cultural impacts on rural communities, given the implications of these regulations on young farmers, tenants, and new entrants to the industry.

Now that a review has been agreed it is imperative that an impact assessment is conducted into the loss of biodiversity if these costly proposals were to lead to a decline in upland cattle grazing, a concern that a previous report submitted by the industry working group highlighted.

“As farmers we care deeply about the environment and with this acceptance of a need for a review we have the opportunity, we hope, to once again become partners with the Welsh government in the efforts to tackle pollution and to protect our environment,” he concluded.