Plans to impose a £100 carbon tax on prime beef cattle finished later than 27 months old could result in the phasing out of important traditional breeds that play an important role in managing Wales’ hills and uplands.
The industry body, the National Beef Association (NBA), is suggesting that a levy would deter producers from retaining older, slower-growing and less efficient cattle, cutting the sector’s carbon footprint and streamlining production.
It wants a change in rules that define animals as prime cattle between 12 and 30 months.
But the proposal could impact Welsh beef producers disproportionately and, instead of achieving the desired outcome of protecting the environment, it could be harmful.
In Wales, many beef systems use regenerative farming practices and are less intensive.
Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) president Glyn Roberts, who runs a beef and sheep farm with his daughter Beca in Ysbyty Ifan, north Wales, says the union has received many calls from angry members since the NBA launched its proposals.