23 February 2000
Welsh rebel over forces’ buying

By FWi staff

WELSH farmers who allow Ministry of Defence access to their land for training are ready to stop co-operating because the MoD wont buy more Welsh lamb.

Livestock producers are angry that only 2% of the sheepmeat fed to troops is sourced from British farms at a time when the sheep industry is in crisis.

Hugh Richards, president of the Welsh National Farmers Union, said the MoD had started to buy more British beef and pork, but continued to source foreign lamb.

“Farmers are getting drastically low livestock prices, while watching troops training in Wales who are being fed imported meat,” he said.

If the MoD wanted the co-operation of livestock farmers across Wales, they must demonstrate a clear commitment to those farmers whose land they expect to use,.

The Farmers Union of Wales said it was proving very difficult to keep farmers anger in check until a planned meeting with the MoD could take place.

Last week, farmers in the Yorkshire Dales banned the RAF from using their land for exercises.