A PETITION complaining at the number of poultry farms being set up in Wales is to be handed to the Welsh Government next week.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has urged ministers to come up with a "long term strategy" for the industry amid claims an 'explosion' in numbers is threatening the environment.

Although the Welsh Government and the poultry industry say it is highly regulated,

more than 4,000 people have signed the CPRW petition.

In Powys alone, 99 applications for new poultry sheds have been made since 2011, involving three million birds. Just one was refused permission.

The rise in applications for poultry sheds may be partly driven by Brexit, with farmers diversifying in case it becomes harder to export lamb and beef.

Eggs are almost exclusively sold within the UK market.

But CPRW claims the geography of much of rural Wales coupled with its climate means it is "wholly unsuitable for the current explosion of IPUs".

It claims chicken manure is running into rivers and affecting plant diversity when spread on fields.

The petition calls on the Welsh Government to fund urgent research and provide up to date advice to the planning departments of councils.