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Senedd to vote on historic first Wales Agriculture Bill today

27 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths

The first ever Agriculture Bill drafted in Wales moves to its final stage of Senedd scrutiny today.

Should the vote on the historic Bill be passed by Senedd Members later this evening, it will then seek Royal Assent, and if received, it will become law in Wales.

The Bill paves the way for what the government describes as ambitious and transformational legislation” to support farmers in producing food and other goods in a sustainable manner, to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, and to conserve and enhance the Welsh countryside, culture and language.

The latest report from the Climate Change Committee highlighted the important contribution farming and agriculture can make to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, and the Agriculture Bill will be a key tool in achieving this.

The Bill also includes a Programme for Government commitment for a ban on the use of snares, and glue traps, meaning Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce a complete ban.

It also amends the Forestry Act 1967 to better protect wildlife and the environment during felling operations, recognising the value of woodlands as a natural resource as well as a habitat.

Sustainable Land Management (SLM) is a key focus of the Bill which establishes a policy and legislative framework with the aim of ensuring farmers can continue to produce quality produce and agricultural goods whilst taking action to respond to the climate and nature emergencies.

The proposed Sustainable Farming Scheme will be the main source of future Government support for farmers in Wales.

The Bill provides Welsh Ministers with the powers necessary to provide future support whilst also ensuring continued support for farmers during a transition period, reflecting the Cooperation Agreement commitment with Plaid Cymru.

The Bill will also provide agricultural tenants with protection to ensure they are not unfairly restricted from accessing financial support.


Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Welsh Agriculture Bill provides us with an opportunity to develop a first-ever made-in-Wales system of support and legislation which works for Welsh farmers, the agriculture sector, our land, and Wales as a whole.

“Our farmers continue to deal with different challenges and this Bill will provide an important framework on which future support for agriculture can be delivered, and outlines how we can keep farmers on the land to produce food sustainably whilst tackling the climate emergency.

“By working together, we can make a real difference to the future of our farmers and rural communities, by taking significant steps to tackle the climate and nature emergencies.

“If passed, it would also see Wales become the first nation in the UK to introduce a complete ban on the use of snares and glue traps which are inhumane, causing a great deal of suffering and even kill species.”

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