WALES’ agricultural act is now law after King Charles III gave it Royal Assent.

The Agriculture (Wales) Act is the first to be made in Wales and will officially become law, following the Royal Assent which was granted today – Thursday, August 17.

The Act will be key in supporting farmers and sustainable food production, the Welsh Government said.

The Act will allow the Welsh Government to support farmers in Wales through the proposed sustainable farming scheme and also provides ministers with the necessary power to provide future support and ensure continued support during a transition period as reflected in the cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru.

It is also paving the way for Wales to be the first UK nation to ban snares and glue traps.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “This is a historic Act. The first time ever Wales has been able to design its own policy for farming. It comes at a crucial time for the industry, as we shape future support and face the challenges of higher costs and the climate emergency.

“The Act allows us to focus on the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of the Welsh agricultural sector. We know the main threat to sustainable food production in the future is climate change, this Act gives us the tools to support the industry to continue to produce food sustainably while taking action to deal with the climate emergency.”

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government’s minister for rural affairs, said: “I’m very pleased to see the sealing of Wales’s first Agriculture Act today. This is truly a historic day for Welsh farmers and rural communities.

“We are now moving ahead with delivering a system of support for farmers designed in Wales, and which works for Wales. This includes the sustainable farming scheme which will be the main source of support for farmers from 2025.

“There isn’t a choice between sustainable food production on our farms and tackling climate change. Both must go hand in hand as the climate emergency is a real threat to agriculture and production of food. The Agriculture Act takes this into account, ensuring sustainable land management is at the heart of future support safeguarding the industry.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in this historic Act.”

The Act will provide tenant farmers with a route to dispute resolution to ensure they are not unfairly restricted from accessing financial assistance and alters the Forestry Act 1967 to give Natural Resources Wales the power to add conditions to amend, suspend or revoke felling licenses to prevent felling that would contradict other environmental legislation.

It also replaces time limited powers in the Agriculture Act 2020 which is due to expire in December 2024.