Contingency planning for winter weather »Severe weather requires robust, collaborative planning between the Welsh Government and the public and private sectors in Wales.Learn more »
Fewer people dying from diabetes in Wales – new report
The number of people dying from diabetes-related conditions in Wales continues to fall
- Consultation launched on future of Welsh apprenticeships
- Minister takes action to protect Wales’ social housing stock
- Fewer people dying from diabetes in Wales – new report
- Aligning the apprenticeship model to the needs of the Welsh economy
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Featured consultation »Age of sale for nicotine inhaling products: draft regulations
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Section highlightQualifications Wales BillThe Bill will establish Qualifications Wales as an independent regulator for qualifications and the qualification system in Wales.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightProject pipeline update
This 6th edition details over 370 investments across both public and private sectors with a value of more than £40bn.
Final Budget 2015-16 »
The amount of funding allocated to Welsh Government Departments for 2015-16 is £15·3bn.Learn more »
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Written Statement - Sheep Electronic Identification (EID) – provision of a ‘tolerance’ for missed reads at Central Point Recording Centres (CPRC)
Lengthy UK negotiations with the European Commission (EC) in respect of implementing Council Regulation 21/2004, in particular the provision of a tolerance when read-rates are less than 100% at CPRC, have concluded. Disappointingly, the original UK proposal to tolerate any missed reads was rejected. In response to a revised UK proposal, which sets out a potential way forward through a limited tolerance, the Commission has confirmed that cross compliance requirements are not subject to prior validation or approval.
My officials have considered the way in which this limited tolerance might be implemented in Wales, the risk of future audit criticism and the complicated set of additional rules that would be required. Analysis of the 757 inspections undertaken during 2011 reveals that no Welsh farmers would qualify for the limited tolerance available.
In light of this, I have today decided not to provide a limited tolerance for Welsh farmers who fail to record the individual identities in their record books as a result of missed reads at CPRC. I have made this decision having balanced the resource implications of introducing an additional complicated (for farmers and for officials) set of rules that we would have to be communicated to farmers and the fact that no farmers would qualify for the tolerance in 2011 set against the risk to Welsh budgets of potentially €3.4m disallowance.
Whilst I am disappointed that negotiation with the Commission in relation to tolerance did not result in the outcome that I had hoped for, I was pleased to announce in December 2011 that the date from which individual recording of older animals (born before 31 December 2009) was required has been delayed until the end of 2014.
It is clear to me that the core principle of individual recording through EID is here to stay and although I remain to be convinced over the ability of the technology to deliver 100% accuracy, the industry, government and equipment suppliers should now focus their energies on making the technology work for Wales.
It is my intention to establish a Sheep EID Database for Wales to strengthen our management of this matter in the future. To this end my officials are currently assessing the options and I expect to make an announcement on this at the end of February. The provision of this 21st century infrastructure will provide opportunities to remove much of the current bureaucracy and potentially provide a platform for the industry to consider more efficient and therefore profitable ways to produce Welsh Lamb. It will also provide robust evidence on which to base future negotiations with the European Commission.