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NVZ Debate: Shadow Minister for Climate Change outlines risk to farming sector

Taking part in the Welsh Conservatives’ debate on the Wales-wide NVZ regulations, Janet Finch-Saunders MS – the Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy and the Shadow Minister for Climate Change – urged the Welsh Government to “withdraw and rethink” the rules.

The Member pointed towards the regulatory impact assessment which has estimated that the upfront capital costs could run to £360 million – a number which is £347 million more than the assistance being offered by the Welsh Government, and £99 million more than the latest total Income from farming in Wales. Janet has now heard from several tenant farmers who are in crisis, with landlords and banks unwilling to foot the bill of the changes required.

Speaking after her contribution, Janet said:

“As I made clear today, in once again highlighting the conclusions of the regulatory impact assessment, I am deeply troubled by the fact that the Welsh Government continues to dismiss our agricultural experts by ploughing ahead with these damaging and costly regulations. “My speech outlined how this approach is placing the future of the environment at risk. Indeed, the vital contribution to biodiversity made by our suckler cow herds is set to be lost under these regulations, with even NRW warning that these rules will have the perverse outcome of making water quality worse. “Moreover, with a leading mental health farming charity warning that the regulations were ‘likely to cause stress’ for farmers and with many having highlighted the belief that the all-Wales NVZ has the potential to negatively impact on the Welsh language, it is time to withdraw and rethink. “Significantly, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives are putting our political differences aside to do the right thing by our farmers. As Aberconwy’s agricultural heroes continue to tell me, they now wish that Welsh Labour will do the same.”

ENDS

Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS

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