A collapse in wool prices has prompted a call for the Welsh Government to increase its use as a building material.

NFU Cymru livestock board chair Wyn Evans has called on Welsh Government to support Welsh farmers by specifying wool rich carpets and other interior fabrics in all government and local authority buildings.

The letter also advocates for wool insulation to be used as part of insulation grant schemes in Wales on existing properties and new builds.

The letter follows a summer in which sheep farmers have seen the price they receive for their wool clip collapse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the worldwide market for wool.

The petition, also supported by Neil Hamilton, MS for Mid and West Wales, calls on the UK Government and each of the devolved governments to make the use of wool mandatory in new home insulation schemes and for insulation and carpeting in public buildings in each of their respective nations.

In his letter, Mr Evans said: “You may be aware of the current crisis the British Wool Marketing Board is facing because of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

"This is severely affecting wool prices, demand and the ability to trade this totally natural, environmentally friendly product. Wales has approaching five million breeding sheep, for animal welfare purposes sheep must be shorn annually.

"The crisis in wool markets means the price that farmers receive for their wool is only a fraction of their shearing costs, the crisis is therefore impacting right down to primary producers of wool and the rural economy.

“We believe there are opportunities to increase demand through the domestic market here in Wales. Welsh Government could play a significant role in doing just this while meeting commitments to protect and enhance the environment for future generations.

“Wool is a versatile, sustainable product and a fantastic, natural insulator that can help drive improvements in the energy efficiency of new and existing homes. We believe its use could be stimulated through grant aid on its environmental benefits. In our view this would be an be an economic and environmental win.”

The call has also been backed by Neil Hamilton, MS for Mid and West Wales, who added: “As we continue to cope with coronavirus, the world’s wool market is under serious pressure and farmers are experiencing significant price reductions due to reduced demand.

“I have heard cases where farmers are dumping wool fleeces on their manure heaps rather than sell at a loss. This is clearly unacceptable and cannot continue."