HomeWildlife ForumPRESS RELEASE - Farming Forum - Welshpool (added 2.12.05)

PRESS RELEASE - Farming Forum - Welshpool (added 2.12.05)

PRESS RELEASE - Farming Forum - Welshpool - 25th November 2005

Forty six farmers attended the Farming Forum at the Royal Oak in Welshpool on Friday 25th November, spending two and half hours discussing the end of farming as we know it. There was a sense of confusion and betrayal, with the prospect of the inevitable contraction of home food production and crucial loss of skills, due to increased Government interference and control of farming activities, by imposing more red tape, accompanied by compulsion, rather than incentives.

Economic statistics, and reports from uplands wildlife managers, demonstrated that farming was not getting a fair deal at any level, and that this would impact adversely on every aspect of home food production, and the quality and extent of countryside and wildlife management.

There were doubts that farming now had the resources to save itself and would go the same way as the fishing industry. The support that might have been expected by conservation agencies and non-Government conservation bodies had not materialised.

There was hope that a lower pound, the opening of export markets for meat, and Government action on the supermarket cartel contributing to the unprofitable milk price, would offer a temporary respite for those with major investments in livestock.

There was no confidence of any hope in stopping the excessive decline of cattle and sheep in upland areas, which had resulted in larger areas of under-grazed land, than areas being put into environmental schemes. Large parts of the British uplands were turning into avian deserts dominated by uncontrolled predators, and areas of scrub, which present increased and serious fire risks.

Among those Government advisors named as having done most to destroy goodwill between farmers and Government were Elliot Morley, Baroness Young, Lord Haskins, Sir Martin Doughty (English Nature), Graham Wynne (RSPB), Jack Thurston and Dr Greg Austin (Robin Cook's and Tony Blair's Foreign Policy Centre) together with former Chief Veterinary Officer Jim Scudamore.

There was considerable disappointment from those present at the non-attendance of representation from the National Farmers Union and the Farmers Union of Wales, who had also shunned previous attempts to bring together one effective lobbying body for the farming and wildlife management industries.

The unanimous conclusion reached was that the tide of misrepresentation and false accusations against the countryside, could only be overturned by the creation of one properly financed, strong representative voice, together with the assistance of a stronger, more independent House of Lords, with powers returned to balance the deficiencies of the House of Commons.

A more detailed report on the issues raised by the meeting and future plans, would be circulated to connected organisations, the press and Parliament.

Farming Forum meetings are being planned in January for Craven Arms and Snowdonia.

Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management - e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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