CONTROVERSIAL new quarantine rules have forced Cardigan County Show to move its date for next year.

It is traditionally held on a Wednesday, but the new rules have caused a rethink by the show committee.

The show said it had discussed the show at length and its current place in the show calendar.

Secretary Delyth Williams said that taking into account the feedback received from competitors before the legislation was temporarily lifted for the summer shows and the effect it would have had on its entries, it was clear that the show could not continue to be held on the Wednesday.

"It has therefore been proposed and accepted by the Committee that Cardigan County Show will now move to the Saturday, i.e. the second Saturday after the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show. It is also hoped that it will allow more people to be able to attend. The date of the 2018 Show will therefore be Saturday, August 4 2018," said show secretary Delyth Williams.

The quarantine units provide on-farm facilities for meeting livestock movement and quarantine regulations.

They were launched on September 11 and are now being used to manage livestock movements, offering farmers an alternative to the six-day standstill rule introduced in the wake of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

A Farmers’ Union of Wales spokesman said: “The Welsh Government have constantly stressed the vital role agriculture plays in the rural economy and community, yet are hell-bent on introducing QUs which will make it uneconomical for some farmers to participate in shows, particularly during the busy autumn sales period."

QUs were initially set to be introduced in June, but following concern from Welsh farming unions that this would result in poor livestock turnout at small agricultural shows, the Welsh Government postponed their introduction.

Welsh rural affairs secretary Lesley Griffiths said the delay enabled livestock keepers to attend agricultural shows this summer, as well as provide farmers with more time to put QUs in place on their holdings.

QUs aim to provide greater flexibility and prevent the spread of diseases and will replace free isolation units in use by keepers of cattle, sheep and goats.

A single QU field will cost £172.80 including VAT for 18 months, while two QU fields will cost £244.80.

There has been no change for pig farmers who can continue to use their approved isolation facilities to manage movements.