Agricultural Policy

Livestock marts to revert to a ‘drop and go’ policy amidst the risk of Covid-19

Given the scale of the current Covid-19 situation, the devolved UK Governments have agreed that livestock markets play a vital role in the food chain and therefore have stated that they should remain open.

However, guidance from the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA) states that livestock marts in Wales and England should operate a ‘drop and go’ policy until further notice to ensure that they can continue to operate safely and to minimise the risk.

Social distancing must also revert back to 2 metres as was implemented in March 2020. Gatherings of people will not be allowed and catering facilities will provide a take-away service only.

The sale of prime stock, cull animals, store and breeding stock will continue, however sales of machinery, on-farm dispersal sales and fodder should be conducted online where possible.

Buyers and vendors should contact their local auctioneer for specific measures and requirements in individual livestock marts.

Minor changes to Cross Compliance 2021 rules

The majority of Cross Compliance rules will continue to apply as in 2020, however the below have been updated to reflect changes in requirements, good practice and clarification:

SMR 8: sheep and goat identification. The link to the Sheep and Goat Identification Guidance for Keepers 2018 has been updated.

SMR 10: restrictions on the use of plant protection products (PPP). The definition of PPP has been clarified. The Good Practice section has been updated. This covers qualifications, application equipment and weather conditions. Additional links to guidance are included. These concern the inspection of equipment and treatment records.

SMR 11: welfare standards for the Protection of Calves. Clarification of requirements concerning tethering, calf pen dimensions and feeding calves. Good Practice clarified regarding feeding milk from TB infected cattle.

SMR 12: welfare standards for the protection of pigs. Clarification of the requirements concerning accommodation, tethering and tail-docking.
SMR 13: welfare standards for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. Updated to clarify what is considered good practice.

GAEC 6: maintenance of soil and organic matter. Requirements for EIA screening clarified. Now including restructuring projects on all rural landholdings, including Common Land.

GAEC 7: landscape features. Requirement to retain all ponds clarified to prevent the drainage/filling-in of part of a pond. Definition of Landscape Features expanded to include Environmentally Sensitive Permanent Grassland (ESPG).

For more information visit https://gov.wales/cross-compliance-2021

New scrapie and standstill requirements for exporting sheep from GB to NI

As part of the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland (NI) remains subject to European animal health regulations and therefore sheep being exported from Great Britain (GB) - now a ‘third country’ (i.e. not in the Single Market) - to Northern Ireland are subject to new rules.

In order to minimise the risk of disease, these new rules include a 40 day standstill on the same holding before movement and additional requirements regarding scrapie.

Live sheep exports to NI for breeding and production (fattening) and their germplasm (semen, ova and embryos) must meet the new requirements for scrapie by either:

  • The animals come from holdings that meet the legal definition of ‘controlled risk’ for scrapie. In practice in GB, this means that they must have been part of the Scrapie Monitoring Scheme (SMS) run by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) for at least three years;
    Or,
  • They have a genetic test which shows they are resistant to the disease and they come from a golding which has had no restrictions imposed due to BSE or scrapie during the last two years.

Further information on SMS membership can be found here.

Those who meet the above requirements must also follow the same additional endemic disease certification requirements for trade from GB to the EU when exporting to NI.

South Caernarfon Creameries set for three year expansion

South Caernarfon Creameries has announced a £14.4 million investment to increase cheese production by 50% and create 30 more jobs over the next three years.

The investment - which includes a £5 million grant from the Welsh Government Food Business Investment Scheme - is projected to increase the demand for Welsh milk from 130 million to over 200 million litres per year.

The announcement follows on from the first phase of investment totalling £11.5 million in 2016 to expand its cheese production and packing facilities.

This additional funding will be used for new facilities for milk reception, cheese production and packing lines and whey processing, as well as improving its environmental and energy performance.

The dairy co-operative was set up 80 years ago and currently has 134 members across North and Mid Wales.

New Johne’s Disease test showing positive results

Queen’s University in Belfast has developed a new Johne’s Disease test which promises to be more rapid and sensitive in detecting the infectious agent (MAP) of the disease.

Importantly, the new test can detect live infectious agents of the disease rather than just the antibodies that fight against MAP as are detected by the currently used milk-ELISA test.

Results have shown that the new test was able to detect more infected animals by milk testing in dairy cattle which can also be applied to faeces and blood from other livestock.

It is hoped that this new test will provide a platform for more accurate and rapid results for vets and farmers to make more accurate decisions for the control of Johne's within herds.

The new test will now be applied at farm level for the next stage of development.

COVID-19 - Gwybodaeth Bwysig i’n haelodau a chwsmeriaid

Yn dilyn gwasgariad y Coronafeirws (COVID-19), rydym wedi penderfynu amddiffyn aelodau, cwsmeriaid a chyd-aelodau staff trwy gau pob swyddfa FUW. 

Bydd pob aelod o staff yn gweithio oddi ar ein safleoedd am y dyfodol rhagweladwy, golygir y bydd ein timau yn parhau i gynnig yr holl wasanaethau dros ffon/e-bost/skype neu ffyrdd eraill o gyfathrebu o bell. 

Dylai aelodau a chwsmeriaid barhau i gysylltu gyda ni yn yr un modd ag arfer, gellir cysylltu â’r staff trwy ddefnyddio’r rhifau ffôn arferol.  

Byddwn yn sicrhau bod safon ein gwasanaethau yn parhau. Caiff apwyntiadau SAF/IACS barhau fel yr arfer ond fe cant eu gwneud dros y ffôn. 

Gweler manylion cyswllt eich swyddfa leol yma: https://fuw.org.uk/cy/cysylltwch

 

Linciau pwysig ynglŷn â'r Coronafeirws:

 

Mae Hwb TB wedi paratoi rhestr o gwestiynnau a ofynnir yn aml parthed sut caiff prosesau TB eu heffeihtio gan y feirws: https://tbhub.co.uk/statutory-tb-testing-of-cattle-in-gb-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Tractor Coch (Red Tractor) dwieddariad yma: https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/contentfiles/Farmers-7085.pdf?_=637206600290507095

Cymdeithas Arwerthwyr Da-byw - 25/03/2020: https://www.laa.co.uk/news/3989/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-to-members-and-farmers/

Busnes Cymru (sy’n cynnwys gwybdooaeth am gefnogaeth i fusnesau oherwydd y Coronafeirws): https://businesswales.gov.wales/cy/cyngor-coronafeirws

Cynllun benthyg Coronafeirws oherwydd ymyriad i fusnes ar gael trwy fenthycwyr sy'n cymryd rhan: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/  
 
Canllawiau Cymdeithas Genedlaethol y Contractwyr Amaethyddol (NAAC) ar Coronafeirws: https://www.naac.co.uk/coronavirus-guidance-issued-to-contractors/
 
Gwasanaethau Cofnodi Llaeth Cenedlaethol 24/03/2020: https://www.nmr.co.uk/about-us/coronavirus