Plaid Cymru Ceredigion’s Penri James has criticised LibDem and Conservative Assembly Members for putting party politics before the future of the agricultural industry in Wales.
During a Conservative-proposed debate on agriculture at the Senedd last week (28 January 2009), all 15 LibDem and Conservative AMs voted against the resulting motion which declared the Assembly’s opposition to the introduction of compulsory electronic identification for sheep.
Following the debate, Plaid Cymru’s Penri James said:
“Since this is European legislation passed by the relevant bodies, the One Wales Government has no option but to implement its requirements by December 2009. I was therefore very disappointed that the LibDem and Conservative AMs were encouraging the Rural Affairs Minister to flout European law and legal advice, and even more baffled that they voted against a motion stating the Assembly’s opposition to the introduction of eID.
“A failure to implement will result in financial penalties which will ultimately affect agricultural payments. This is certainly not what is required by the agricultural industry in the present economic climate! It seems that blind partisanship and party politics play a more important role in Conservative and Liberal Democrat politics than serving the real interests of farmers in Wales.
“The twin track policy of the Agriculture Minister, Elin Jones AM, is quite sensible: object to the compulsory implementation of EIDs and say so in Brussels but in the meantime proceed with the implementation programme here in Wales. It’s about time that opposition parties took a leaf from her book and put the sake of our farmers before party politics”.