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Glamorgan farmers left in the dark over local mart

Credit: Vale of Glamorgan Council

Farmers in Glamorgan still don’t know what the future holds for their local livestock mart, with fears growing that livestock trading in Cowbridge will never resume.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales has long campaigned for the future of the mart, including calling for a stay of execution on the closure of the mart, which was granted a charter back in 1254 and has been central to town life ever since.

“We are very concerned that with the closure of the market, which is already being disassembled,  market trading in Cowbridge will never resume again. That is something which will cost our local farmers, already under pressure because of uncertainty over red meat sales post Brexit. We are urging the Council to provide urgent clarity,” said FUW county executive officer Rachel Saunders.

The site provided an opportunity to sell stock directly to buyers, but with its closure on 1 September 2020 the closest alternative is at Raglan, Carmarthen or Brecon meaning significant extra costs for farmers.

Cowbridge farmers who do not have the necessary Certificates of Competence are only allowed to transport their stock for a maximum of 65 km and to travel over 65km would need a Certificate of Competence and also need a valid transporter authorisation for short journeys, meaning those who cannot meet these requirements will have to pay additional haulage costs to sell their produce.

“Our very real fear is that now that the site has shut down, a new one will never be built, and currently it is understood that there is no guaranteed funding for the new mart. As it is, the uncertainty in farming now is causing serious mental health issues within the industry, and the closure of this mart only puts further pressure on a worried community. The Council must act with urgency to resolve this matter,” she added.