Plaid Cymru woos farmers with six-day standstill pledge

Plaid Cymru has pledged to scrap the six-day standstill rule, introduced as a disease control measure in the wake of the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis, as part of a farming manifesto issued ahead of the general election.

The document promises to cut the amount of red tape facing farmers, which includes the rule which prevents farmers moving stock off a farm for six days after new animals come on to the premises.

See also: General Election 2015: Politicians pledge better future for farming

The party has also said it will work to make sure that all producers are paid under the Basic Payment Scheme by 1 December 2015 and to ensure public bodies source more food and drink from Welsh farmers.

Speaking after the launch, Plaid Cymru candidate for Ynys Mon, John Rowlands, described family farms as the cornerstone of Welsh agriculture.

“Common Agricultural Policy reform and volatile markets are making business conditions difficult,” he said.

“The latest proposals for subsidy payments in Wales will bring considerable challenges to many parts of the industry. Plaid Cymru will work to make sure CAP works for Welsh farmers and that all farmers receive their Basic Payments as early as possible within the payment window from 1 December 2015.

“We will also ensure that Rural Development Programme funding is used effectively, particularly targeting on-farm investment to improve skills and strengthen infrastructure. Plaid strongly opposed the full 15% transfer out of direct payments and into the Rural Development Programme. We now need to see that money coming back to farmers to strengthen the industry.”

Other pledges:

  • To broaden the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator and to strengthen the Dairy Code of Practice
  • Encourage English abattoirs to open bases in Wales, to address the falling number of abattoirs operating in the country
  • Review fiscal incentives to support the next generation of farmers coming into the industry
  • Review planning rules to allow more on-farm development, so families can continue to live and work on the same farm when their children grow up.
  • Support a GM-free Wales
  • To reform levy rules to ensure any levy raised on Welsh livestock goes towards the promotion of Welsh produce
  • To commit to delivering superfast broadband to 100% of Wales
  • Push for rural Wales to be brought into the EU’s Rural Fuel Rebate scheme

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