Welsh Net Zero Farming Plans Could Result in 122,000 Less Livestockthedigitalchaps


Welsh farmers fear the plans will cause ‘utter carnage’ and ‘will rip out the heart of the rural economy.’

The Welsh government has estimated that its upcoming net zero farming plans will result in a huge reduction of mainly dairy cow livestock.

On Friday, the Labour-run Welsh government launched a consultation on the final proposals for its Sustainable Farming Scheme to “produce food in a sustainable manner and mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

It said that this was “proportionately highest for dairy farms but also for specialist sheep farms, because of stocking limits to maintain and retain the semi-natural habitats.”

The report also estimated on-farm labour to decline by 11 percent, largely reflecting displaced livestock numbers.

Welsh farmers told The Epoch Times that they believed the post-Brexit farm payments scheme, which is framed and dependent  on rewilding, was going to cause “carnage.”

Related Stories

Scottish Wind Farm Accused of Using Net Zero Loophole to Make £647 Million

The report said that “producing safe, high-quality food is vital in Wales and for Wales” however, “the economic challenges we face, and the climate and nature emergency we are in the midst of cannot be tackled in isolation. “

The government is proposing at least 10 percent of each farm should be actively managed as a habitat for the benefit of wildlife alongside the production of food. Furthermore, it says that there also should be a minimum of 10 percent tree cover on each farm as a scheme requirement to be met by 2030.

‘Extreme Hardship’

Steve Evans, a dairy farmer based in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, told The Epoch Times that the Welsh government are “clearly softening us up for extreme hardship but consumers need to beware too as this is going to drive food inflation. It’s going to cause utter carnage.”

Director of Countryside Alliance Wales, Rachel Evans, told The Epoch Times that any reduction in livestock numbers at “the scale that they are gearing towards really means less farmers in our countryside.”

“I tell you straight we are not sustainable in this country, hasn’t the Ukraine war taught them anything? We need to keep our farmers on the land because no farmers, no food,” she added.

“It will mean a threat to our heritage, our culture, and Welsh language because once you take away these farming families, you rip out the heart of the rural economy,” she said.

‘Massive Knock-on Effect’

She also warned that a “massive knock-on effect” could have long-reaching effects on communities with fewer families around, fewer children heading into schools, less spending on their local economy and so on.

She added that she did not believe that Wales was really “overgrazed as a country,” a key claim of environmentalists who support rewilding.

“There are hill pastures across Wales that are thick with brackets and gorse that people cannot walk through because there has been a significant reduction in the number of sheep and cattle graze in our hill,” she said.

An NFU Wales spokeswoman pointed The Epoch Times to its recent statement which said that “this is the biggest shift in agricultural policy for a generation or more and we encourage all farmers to get involved.”

A Welsh government spokesman told The Epoch Times by email that “the economic assessment is an important piece of work which helped inform our consultation so those issues could be addressed.”

“It is not an assessment of the current consultation,” he said.