Farmer with sheep in snow

Farm animal burial rules relaxed

The Welsh Government have announced that laws preventing the burial of dead animals on farms are to be 'relaxed' for the next seven days.

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Snow hit farmers invited to meet with minister

Welsh Government is seeking urgent agreement from the EU to bring forward payments to help farmers with cash-flow problems.

Wales' Minister for Natural Resources, Alun Davies, is inviting people who have been badly affected by the recent severe weather to speak to him at a public meeting in Bala.

Mr Davies says he is keen to hear farmers' ideas on how government and individual farming businesses might work together in future to mitigate the problems experienced.

The meeting is at Ysgol y Berwyn in Bala on Thursday 9th May.

The Welsh government says representatives of Farming Connect, the Farm Liaison Service and farming charities will be present to talk to farmers about the support they are able to offer.

Farm animal burial law relaxed for 'final' week

Farmers in Wales will be given a 'further and final' week to bury dead animal recovered on their land.

The further announcement by the Welsh Government is aimed at helping farmers recover from the impact of the recent severe weather.

As a result of close working between Welsh Government and partner bodies such as the Department for Transport and the National Fallen Stock Company we have been able to agree some key changes that will allow the backlog in fallen stock collection to be cleared as quickly as possible.

– Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

The minister says it will also hold a meeting with banks this week to brief them on the recent difficulties and to discuss what they can do to support their clients.

Watch: Conwy farmer pulls sheep from under snow drifts

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Conwy Valley farmer tells his story of the snow's aftermath

When the snow hit large swathes of North Wales a month ago, ITV News brought you the story of how many farmers were struggling to rescue their livestock. It was a gruelling task.

Gareth Wyn Jones was one of those farmers who we featured desperately trying to save his sheep often with no success. For the last week, he's kept a video diary.

Burial laws relaxed for another week 'following advice from vets'

The Natural Resources Minister says that following advice from vets and the Met Office it has become clear that "the current derogation for on-farm burial is still necessary for the time being."

But Alun Davies says "geographical coverage must remain closely targeted on the areas worst affected."

My officials are continuously gathering evidence from the ground, and I am reviewing the situation on a daily basis.

It is important that we understand the specific locational impacts of the snow, so that we can respond as necessary with focussed practical support for those farm holdings in most need.

We are ready to work with the farming unions on welcome initiatives such as fodder banks and fodder distribution networks.

– Alun Davies AM, Natural Resources Minister

Relaxation of farm burial laws extended

Sheep being dug from under snow
Farmers in north Wales have been affected by last month's heavy snow Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The relaxation of laws that prevent farmers burying their livestock on their own land is to be extended for a further week.

The Welsh Government announced last week that the EU regulations would be suspended for seven days, coming to an end this evening.

The extension means that the 'deragation' will last until 16th April.

Farmers called for the change to help them deal with the deaths of hundreds of lambs and ponies following heavy snow in north and mid Wales.

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Natural Resources Minister to visit snow-hit farm

Alun Davies AM
Alun Davies has told ITV News he has no plans to offer more support to farmers affected by heavy snow. Credit: ITV Wales

Natural Resources Minister Alun Davies AM will visit a Powys farm today. He will hear first-hand the lengths farmers have had to go in battling the severe weather this winter.

The scale of the situation facing many farmers across Wales is unprecedented.

It is hoped the minister will be able to gain a further understanding of what those in the farming community have been up against.

Minister rules out financial help for farmers

The Natural Resources Minister has told ITV News that he has no plans to offer more support to farmers affected by heavy snow.

Alun Davies said that a lot of businesses have been affected by poor weather and that the Welsh Government can't help them all.

He said that 18,000 farms in Wales are already receiving a total of £260million in direct subsidies.

FUW: Disappointed that burial relaxation will only last seven days

The Farmers' Union of Wales has welcomed the relaxation of rules banning the burial or animals on farms as a 'step towards common sense.'

But the Union criticised the announcement that restrictions will come back into force in a weeks time.

Gwyn Williams, Area Officer at the FUW also told ITV News that the Welsh Government should consider how it could help support farmers financially.

Burial rule relaxation is a 'small step forward'

The Farmers' Union of Wales has welcomed the relaxation of rules banning the burial or animals on farms as a 'step towards common sense.'

But the Union criticised the announcement that restrictions will come back into force in a weeks time.

EU Regulations require farmers to pay collectors to remove and dispose of fallen stock.

We welcome this concession but have highlighted the fact that it does not cover all those who have been worst affected by the severe weather.

Many have lost hundreds of animals and tens of thousands of pounds, requiring them to pay further thousands to have dead animals removed because they cannot meet very strict guidelines.

We have urged the Welsh Government to take this into account and to apply the derogation for all areas of Wales which are affected.

– Emyr Jones, FUW president
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