The National Sheep Association (NSA) has welcomed yesterday’s (Wednesday May 22) general election announcement.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced that a general election will be help on Thursday, July 4.

NSA chief executive, Phil Stocker said sheep farmers need stability and a “clear future” direction and that the NSA has grown relationships with major political parties so they “understand the barriers faced” by sheep farmers.

Stocker added that the UK agricultural sector is on a “trajectory” towards sustainable farming, where food production has become recognised as “more important”.

The agricultural sector has aimed to focus on food production without taking away the need for better natural resource protection, helping to tackle climate change, and providing for nature within a farm.

The chief executive added:

“We welcome this news to end uncertainty and start a new chapter.  We have plans for a cross party debate at NSA Sheep Event 2024.”

This event will allow for “significant and important” public discussions with the future political environmental, farming and rural affairs leaders.

The NSA Sheep Event will be held on Tuesday, July 30. Further information can be accessed via the sheep event website.

General election will ‘make or break’

Head of policy, campaigns and communications at Council for the Preservation of Rural England (CPRE), Eli Moody said that this election will be “make or break” for the countryside.

She said that the next government will be faced with decisions on housing, environmental protections and energy supply, and these will have “big impacts” on rural communities.

Moody added: “We urge all political parties to think about the future while tackling the priorities of today.

“Decisive action is required to protect our green spaces at the same time as delivering the genuinely affordable housing people are crying out for, up and down the country.”

“With enough political will, it is possible to build a Britain fit for the future and protect the countryside for everyone’s benefit,” he added.