DAVIES: Welsh Government must call a stop on “disastrous” NVZs
Paul Davies AM has today urged the Welsh Government to “call a stop” to the “disastrous” introduction of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs).
The Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Rural Affairs has urged Lesley Griffiths AM to show Wales’ farming community “some compassion” by halting her plans to implement the EU’s directive on nitrate pollution.
Mr Davies says that the Labour administration’s plans threaten the very future of Welsh farming and make “no sense at all”, calling the EU directive “un-evidenced” and “potentially ruinous” for Welsh farming.
A survey by the NFU showed that around one in eight (13%) farmers would consider leaving the industry if the NVZ proposals are introduced.
Nearly three quarters (73%) of farmers surveyed did not have sufficient slurry storage on their farm to meet the proposed NVZ requirements. According to the NFU, it would cost, on average, nearly £80,000 for Welsh farmers to upgrade their slurry storage facilities to achieve NVZ slurry storage compliance.
Speaking at the Royal Welsh show in Llanelwedd, Paul Davies AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Secretary for Rural Affairs and representative for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said:
“For many parts of Wales, including my own constituency, NVZs could be disastrous.
“Farmers are already struggling against a range of problems from Bovine TB to plummeting dairy prices, it makes no sense at all to hit them in the pocket again with the arbitrary costs of complying with a largely un-evidenced directive.
“The Royal Welsh show week would be an ideal moment for the Cabinet Secretary to call a stop to the potentially ruinous NVZ directive and show our struggling farming community some compassion.
“Lesley Griffiths can either choose to forge a positive legacy in her role by taking no further actions on NVZ, or she can press ahead with these proposals and threaten the very future of farming in Wales.
“Nitrate pollution is clearly an issue, but as a devolved administration the Welsh Government should be looking for a unique solution instead of adhering to the arbitrary whims of an institution Wales voted to turn its back on.”