As the Royal Welsh Show gets underway virtually today, Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths has thanked everyone in the agricultural industry for their resilience and dedication during the Covid19 pandemic.
The Minister said:
“Farming and agriculture continues to be the beating heart of rural Wales and we are proud to be supporting this year’s virtual Royal Welsh Agricultural Show.
“It is, of course, very sad we will not be meeting face-to-face at the show again this year, but public health must come first.
“I am extremely proud of the commitment everyone in the industry has shown and ensured the people of Wales have continued to have the best possible choice of Welsh produce.
“It is clear people have appreciated the importance of being able to access local produce during the pandemic.
“Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do.”
The Minister also emphasised creating a stronger, greener and fairer Wales is at the core of what the Welsh Government wants to achieve.
“As we recover from the impact of Covid-19, we have a real opportunity to deliver an even better Wales now and for our future generations. Our new system of farm support will be crucial to this effort and will maximise the protective power of nature through farming.
“In preparation for the transition to this new farm support I have simplified the existing Basic Payments Scheme to give farmers certainty and parity of advance payments arriving this October.
“I hope this change will provide some stability in turbulent times.”
Animal welfare commitments are included in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government and the Minister revealed she plans to publish a five year strategy in the autumn setting out what is expected to be achieved in this Senedd Term.
The Minister added:
“We are proud of our record on delivering high standards of animal health and welfare.
“Animals have always played a central role in Wales’ long history of farming and I am aware of the support we receive from the sector and the general public in relation to ensuring all animals have a good quality of life.
“Animal welfare is the golden thread which runs through all of our policies.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the vets and their practices who have continued to provide a service throughout the past year and a half, ensuring animals have been able to receive the care they need.”