Opposition parties in the Assembly have claimed that the Welsh Government has been too slow to react and has not gone far enough in its response to the impact of heavy snow on livestock farming.
The Welsh Government has been slow off the mark in dealing with this disaster and while this announcement is welcome, it is too little, too late. While the Rural Affairs Minister was tucking into his Easter eggs, Welsh farmers were trying to dig frozen carcasses out of feet-deep snow. Welsh Conservatives believe that a derogation should be granted in these exceptional circumstances to allow farmers to deal with fallen stock in an efficient and practical manner.
I share the unions' severe disappointment, however, that there is to be no programme of direct financial aid. Of course farming is a business that is exposed to risk from the elements, and that will always remain the case. However, I would urge the Minister to be in listening mode when he meets representatives of the Welsh farming unions in the next couple of days. I look forward to meeting the Minister myself in Powys later this week to discuss the severe difficulties Welsh Livestock farmers are facing as a result of the extreme weather – and to press the case for assistance