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Fears over mountain ponies

Prices for the unique ponies of North Wales have plummeted as farmers are unable to pay for the costs of vet fees, microchipping and horse passports.

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Unique ponies of North Wales are 'valueless'

Farmer Dei Davies has a dozen of the hardy North Wales ponies on his upland farm at Melin y Coed near Llanrwst.

But for the past two years he has kept his stallion apart from his mares, to prevent them becoming pregnant, as he can't afford to raise any foals and keep the breed line going.

The ponies belong to the land, they've been here for centuries. They were bred for the mines and quarries but after that stopped, they stayed on the mountains, running wild.

We used to be able to sell the male foals, and get a fair price, but nobody wants them anymore, they are valueless, so for the last two years I haven't bred from the mares, and I don't know when I will again.

They are a part of the countryside, and they do a good job keeping the moorland grazed.

– Farmer Dei Davies

Shadow Rural Affairs Minister Antoinette Sandbach has written to the Welsh Government asking how farmers can be helped to keep the breed flourishing.

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