Union backs Gwynedd’s 20-day standstill plan


The Farmers’ Union of Wales today urged all Welsh local authorities to follow Gwynedd County Council’s example in calling on the Government to revoke the 20-day livestock movement ban.

"Gwynedd councillors have sent DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly a strong message that this extremely restrictive rule is crippling Welsh livestock farming," said Alan Gardner, chairman of the FUW‚s livestock, wool and marts committee.

Mr Gardner has led the FUW’s long-running campaign to lift the 20-day movement ban at a series of Stakeholder meetings between DEFRA and the industry.

And farmers in Gwynedd were given a boost when the county council overwhelmingly supported a Plaid Cymru motion demanding the lifting of the restrictive 20-day standstill rule.

Councillors were reminded of the importance of Gwynedd’s commitment to the farming community and members agreed there was now no need for this additional bureaucracy which made it extremely difficult for the recovery of family farms following the foot and mouth crisis.

"The FUW compliments Gwynedd County Council on making this stand and we would urge all other Welsh local authorities to follow suit and back our campaign to get this rule lifted without delay," said Mr Gardner.

Gwynedd has previously shown its determination to support the farming industry in a practical way by backing the re-opening of Bryncir Market which gave the county’s rural areas a welcome boost.

But the 20-day rule now makes it almost impossible to maximize on Bryncir’s position due to the needless bureaucracy which, because of the nature of farming in Gwynedd, has a more adverse affect on the family farm.

The motion stressed it is over a year since the last case of foot and mouth and that the farming industry strongly believes this unfair restriction, which is creating countless problems, is totally unnecessary and remains a major obstacle in an industry which has suffered economic hardship because of the foot and mouth outbreak and unstable markets.