Agricultural Policy

Digital connectivity survey highlights digital urban-rural divide

A survey on digital connectivity has highlighted a gaping hole between urban and rural areas when it comes to access and stability of broadband and mobile phone reception.

The survey, run by the National Federation of Women's Institutes-Wales, CLA, Farmers’ Union of Wales, NFU Cymru and Wales YFC, showed that over 50% of respondents from a rural area felt that the internet they had access to was not fast and reliable.

Indeed, less than 50% of those who lived in rural areas stated they had standard broadband and only 36% had superfast broadband, with 66% stating that they or their household had been impacted by poor broadband. In comparison, 18% of their urban counterparts said they had access to standard broadband and 67% had superfast broadband.

Whilst 80% of participants used their mobile phone to access the internet, just 68% of those with a smartphone had access to a 4G or 5G mobile network. Describing the mobile signal in their house, 57% of those from a rural area stated that their signal was ‘unreliable’ and 49% of those from a rural area stated that their signal was ‘unreliable’ outdoors.

News in Brief May 2021

i) New Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru sets out priorities

Mrs Catherine Smith, recently elected Chair of Hybu Cig Cymru - Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), has set out the Board’s priorities for the next financial year.

The reform of levy monies to be paid to the respective levy board of where the animal was reared rather than slaughtered as part of the UK Agricultural Bill will play a big part in the work of HCC during the next year, although collaborative work between the UK levy bodies will continue.

It will allow for the great work to continue on consumer engagement and brand building to increase the sale of red meat, and promoting the environmental credentials of lamb and beef production in Wales ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow later this year.


ii) Arwain Vet Cymru project leads the way on responsible use of antibiotics

The Arwain Vet Cymru project, launched in November 2019 to train and support a national network of Veterinary Prescribing Champions (VPCs) across Wales to promote the responsible use of antibiotics in livestock, has become the blueprint for a similar UK-wide initiative, Farm Vet Champions.

The two year project in Wales is supported by Welsh Government and funded by the Rural Development programme to work towards the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Animals and the Environment Implementation Plan (2019-2024). To date, 39 VPCs who undertake farm work have enrolled onto the project with 37 having already created bespoke antibiotic action plans.


iii) New CEO at British Wool

The Board of British Wool has recently appointed their Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrew Hogley, as permanent CEO.

Mr Hogley stepped up as Acting CEO in November of 2020 from Director of Wool Sales and Producer Services at British Wool. British Wool will continue to face many challenges as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic which saw a collapse in the global wool market and farmers receiving no more than 17 pence per kilogram for their wool.

Gwaredu BVD extended until the end of 2022

Following a reprofiling of the Gwaredu BVD programme, the FUW has welcomed the announcement that support for all herd screening will continue to be available until the 31st December 2022.

BVD continues to cost the average beef herd approximately £4,500 per year and £15,000 for dairy.

Since the programme’s launch in 2017, the programme has screened over 8,600 Welsh cattle herds for BVD free of charge. Currently, there are:

  • 1,218 herds achieving gold status (3 or more negative tests)
  • 1,178 herds achieving silver status (2 negative tests)
  • 3,759 herds achieving bronze status (1 negative test)

With the extension, farmers will be eligible for two further herd screenings with the opportunity to achieve gold status. It is recommended that screens are kept at least 10 months apart.

From the 8,600 herds, approximately 26% have tested positive and the Gwaredu BVD Team will continue to work the those farmers and their vets to identify the persistently infected (PI) animals within those herds.

Under the extension, funding for PI hunts will continue as before. The total available for funding remains at £1,000 + VAT, including a £100 vet fee and £900 testing fee. Those herds that have tested positive and already applied for an initial £500 PI hunt will be eligible to apply for the additional £500 if any further PI hunting is required.

New UK disease reporting requirements

The UK Government introduced new disease reporting requirements on 21st April 2021 in order to comply with the EU’s new Animal Health Regulation.

Whilst the UK has left the EU and there is no requirements to implement the new Animal Health Regulation in the UK, the UK Government has had to make legislative changes in order to continue to trade with the EU as a Third Country and to allow the movement of live animals, products of animal origin and germinal products from Great Britain to the EU and Northern Ireland.

The EU Animal Health Regulation includes the requirement for all terrestrial diseases listed under the regulation to be notifiable in Third Countries which export live animals into the EU. The list includes 15 diseases that were not notifiable or reportable in GB until now.

Five diseases will be notifiable on clinical suspicion or positive laboratory detection and nine
diseases must be reported on detection at the place of analysis.

The reporting requirements to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) depend on the specific disease; some as soon as possible, some others will require monthly reporting, and others including BVD will depend on the genotype.

Please see below for the full list of diseases and requirements:

New disease requirements from 21st April 2021

APHA to use whole genome sequencing for TB

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has begun to routinely use TB whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the genetic typing of M. bovis. This technique has replaced the use of genotyping and can better differentiate between the strain of TB bacterium and identify where they have come from.

The technique known as genotyping was able to characterise M. bovis into different strains which tend to be geographically localised. The technique of WGS can go a step further in determining the entire DNA sequences of M. Bovis and therefore provide a greater degree of certainty about the origin of TB infection in a herd.

Most importantly, it will allow for the APHA to investigate TB breakdowns and possible transmission pathways between cattle herds, and help vets further understand how TB spreads locally and nationally.

For further information about WGS, visit the TB Hub: https://www.tbhub.co.uk/whole-genome-sequencing-of-m-bovis-isolates-in-great-britain/

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