FUW welcomes call to change Dangerous Dogs legislation

 

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has welcomed a call by North Wales police earlier this month to review legislation pertaining to the 1953 Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act in a bid to reduce the number of dog attacks on livestock in Wales.

Current interpretation of the 1953 Act means that Police cannot seize a dog and keep it if the owner is known; even if the same dog is responsible for multiple attacks. A court has no power to ban an offender from getting another dog following a conviction.

Dr Hazel Wright, FUW Senior Policy Officer said: “Livestock worrying continues to be an important issue for FUW members and the Union has repeatedly documented the wide-reaching emotional and financial damage that dog attacks can cause.

“Livestock worrying is complex and we continue to be frustrated that livestock attacks by dogs show no sign of abating.  Despite significant industry investment, many members of the public remain unaware that their family pet can attack, injure or kill livestock.”

Many dog attacks happen by unaccompanied dogs that have strayed from the home environment and messages about keeping dogs on a lead near livestock can therefore only form part of the solution.  The FUW therefore welcomes the call by North Wales police to further scrutinise existing legislation in order to make it fit for purpose and to proactively prevent dog attacks.

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West Wales FUW Academy discusses Brexit threat to family farms

The West Wales FUW Academy, including the Ceredigion, Carmarthen, Brecon and Pembrokeshire branches, recently discussed a host of #FarmingMatters , including the threat Brexit poses to farming families, when they met with Mid and West Wales Regional AM Eluned Morgan.

The meeting was held on Thursday, February 7, at Cwmcowddu Farm, Llangadog, a mixed 350 acre family farm, which is home of the Davies’ family, who have diversified into egg production to future-proof their business.  

Delegates enjoyed a tour of the farm, seeing the egg production unit which was set up in 2017 and is now home to 32,000 hens, as well as the dairy, beef and sheep production aspect of the farm.

Speaking at the event, Chris Davies said: “Most people have specialised in one commodity over the last decade but we have rightly or wrongly stayed a mixed unit. We have a daughter Ffion and two sons, Aled and Rhodri, who are the fourth generation on the farm. The boys are both keen to remain in the industry, but with the price of land continuing to rise it is becoming more and more difficult to make a reasonable return from the investment.”

“As a family we therefore decided to diversify into the free range egg sector. The egg industry is very similar to dairy, in the sense that you are still tied to the farm seven days a week, 365 days of the year, with volatile prices, but without the lack of sleep during calving.

“How the business does from now on will to a degree depend on what trade deals we can get, but also what farming policy looks here at home. We’re grateful to have been able to discuss some of those worries with Eluned Morgan here on farm and hope that the Welsh Government will do what is within their power and provide the stability that is desperately needed,” said Sian Davies.

Brexit and its implication for family farms, such as Cwmcowddu, were further discussed and FUW Carmarthen CEO David Waters said: “Contingency planning for a hard Brexit must be stepped up. The Welsh Government has to work alongside other UK Governments to ensure action can be taken at short notice to protect our farmers and food producers from the sort of catastrophe we have only previously witnessed during Foot and Mouth disease outbreaks.

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FUW Gwent hold info evening on ‘Making Tax Digital’ and introduce new rural crime team

The Gwent Branch of the Farmers’ Union of Wales has organised a special information evening for members, which will focus on the new tax rules coming into force on 1 April and will give members the chance to meet the new Rural Crime Team.

The event is held on Thursday 28 February at the Goytre Arms, Penperlleni and will start at 7.30pm.

Those joining the information evening can look forward to a presentation from Nick Park, Green & Co Chartered Accountants, entitled “Making Tax Digital”, which focuses on the changes HM Revenue and Customs are making and what you need to do before 1 April 2019.  

Mr Park will also highlight Key Tax Planning ideas for the current tax year.

FUW Gwent CEO Glyn Davies said: “This new way of filing your taxes has the potential to be a real headache, especially as paper returns will no longer be accepted.

“VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019.

“So if you are not 100% sure what that means, do come along to the information evening.”

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Ceredigion farmers urged to get to grips with ‘Making tax digital’ scheme

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging farmers to get to grips with the ‘Making tax digital’ scheme, which will come into force in April and see millions of businesses and self-employed people having to file multiple tax returns each year.

In order to help those VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold, the Ceredigion branch of the Union has organised a special information evening with Dyfrig Davies, Aeron Accountants.  

The event, which starts at 7.30pm, is held on Thursday 14 February at Aberaeron Rugby Club.

FUW Ceredigion CEO Emma Davies said: “There are many farm businesses who from April will be required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns. Businesses will no longer be able to submit paper tax returns.

“To help them better understand what is required of them and what tools are available to comply with the new way of submitting your tax return, we are hosting this special information evening, which we hope will be of interest to our members.”

For more information contact the FUW Ceredigion office on 01570 424 515.

 

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Bovine TB info evening to shed light on tackling the disease

An information evening to discuss bovine TB within the Denbigh and Flintshire counties has been arranged by the local Farmers’ Union of Wales branch.

The event, which is open to all, is being held on Wednesday 13 February at the Hanmer Arms, Hanmer, Whitchurch SY13 3DE, starting at 7.30 pm.

Speaking on the night are representatives from APHA and the North Wales TB Eradication Board, and FUW Senior Policy Officer Dr Hazel Wright will also be available to answer questions.  

FUW Denbigh and Flint CEO Mari Dafydd Jones said: “We have arranged this meeting as we have many members that are being affected by TB within this area.  

“The level of TB in cattle has not shown any significant decline and new TB spikes have developed in the Intermediate TB Area.

“Alongside frustration at the lack of progress in the High TB Area, there is growing concern amongst members that previously clean areas are now at risk of a TB incursion. I hope many of you can join us on the night, which we hope will provide much needed information.”

For more information contact the FUW Ruthin office on 01824 707198

 

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FUW Meirionnydd AGM explored future relationship between farmers and Welsh Government

The Farmers’ Union of Wales Meirionnydd branch held their Annual General Meeting themed ‘The future relationship between Welsh Government as administrators of farming, and farmers as practitioners’, on Friday, 25 January at the Rugby Club, Dolgellau.

Guest speakers on the night were Head of Agriculture – Sustainability and Development Division, Welsh Government Gary Haggaty, winner of the New Entrants Category of the British Farming Awards - tenant farmer from Abercegir, near Machynlleth Rhidian Glyn and RSPB Land Use Manager Arfon Williams.

FUW Meirionnydd County President Olwen Ford, who chaired the meeting, said: “We had some very lively and interesting discussions and among the many comments and questions from our members, it was evident that we need better partnerships and a positive dialogue between farmers and Welsh Government. Especially with regards to any future policy decisions.”

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