Thousands of farmers descend on Senedd in protest against government plans

February 28, 2024

Thousands of farmers have descended on the Senedd to protest against Welsh government policy.

More than 40 tractors also turned up at Cardiff Bay, despite South Wales Police urging protesters not to bring them.

Paul Thomas, from the Vale of Glamorgan, drove his tractor to Cardiff and told Sky News he had done so because it was "a symbol of what [farmers] do".

"Everybody was beeping their horns on their way through, we've had great support from the general public, which is great," he added.

Under Welsh government plans, farms in Wales would have to meet a series of environmental obligations in order to get subsidies from the government.

That includes making sure that 10% of farmland is covered with trees.

Farming unions are warning about the impact such a requirement would have on the industry.

Farmers are also unhappy with the on-farm slaughter of cattle who have tested for bovine tuberculosis and water regulations (Nitrate Vulnerable Zones)

Ahead of the protest, Welsh government's rural affairs minister, Lesley Griffiths, committed to reviewing the NVZ regulations and additional funding to help farmers meet their obligations.

It has also appointed a group to look at other options to combat bovine TB.

Geraint and Rachel Davies, from Carmarthenshire, said they had turned out to "support our livelihoods".

"What they [the Welsh government] are trying to do is a slow demise of agriculture as we know it in Wales," Mr Davies told Sky News.

"It's not just Welsh farmers that are complaining, all of Europe is complaining about the farming policies."

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Freya and Ffion are five and three years old

Their mother, Kelly Jenkins, told Sky News, they had attended the protest "because they're fifth generation farmers".

"The future is for them really," she said.

"About four years ago, we diversified into wildflower seed production just because of the way farming is going."

Ms Jenkins added that she wanted the government to "listen to the voices of farmers for once".

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