Review of Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations welcome

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed the decision of the Senedd to review the Control of Agricultural Pollution Regulations, which are currently being phased in and are set to impose strict and costly regulations across every farm in Wales.

The joint opposition party motion calling for a Senedd committee to hold an "urgent" review of the new regulations was passed by 58 votes to nil on 9th June.

It is pleasing 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 frustration and anger at the way these regulations were rushed through the Senedd without scrutiny and warned of the dangers that will come with what is currently being phased in.

The review must take into account the financial implications that these regulations have on small and medium sized farm businesses and tenant farmers and consider the social and cultural impacts on rural communities.

In addition, 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.

Farmers in Wales care deeply about the environment and it is hoped that this acceptance by the Senedd of a need for an urgent review will provide an opportunity to introduce targeted and evidence-based regulations that are fit for Wales and allow for the industry to work with Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales to tackle pollution and protect the environment.