By Debbie James

New nitrate controls which have implications for farms across Pembrokeshire should be put on hold while farmers grapple with the potential fallout from Brexit, a farming union leader says.

Six hundred farms in Wales are currently subject to nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) regulations, including those in the Bosherston Lily Pools catchment area.

But through a range of voluntary and regulatory measures, the Welsh Government plans to draw in more than 24,000 farms across Wales.

Farmers’ Union of Wales president Glyn Roberts is calling on the government to provide stability at a time of uncertainty and to delay introducing the new controls.

Imposing “costly rules and regulations’’ is not the way to achieve stability, he warns.

“Farmers don’t need more regulations at this point in time,’’ he insists.

Mr Roberts also says that it is time to lift the entire burden of TB off the shoulders of farmers by considering the “positive impact’’ of the wildlife control programme in England.

Official data from Defra, which he says confirms that the badger cull in England is working to reduce TB, demonstrates the need to reinstate a proactive badger cull in the intensive action area (IAA) of Wales, which includes north Pembrokeshire and small parts of Ceredigion.

New TB herd outbreaks have fallen by 50 per cent following the completion of four-year culls in Gloucestershire and Somerset, the Defra data has shown.

“There needs to be a better balance between cattle and wildlife controls,’’ says Mr Roberts.

“The TB situation in England is improving as a result of the way Defra is dealing with it, the Welsh Government must consider carefully the evidence that is coming from that.’’

The Welsh Government last year rejected a call by the FUW to reinstate a previous government plan to cull badgers.