The political fallout of the Welsh Government's decision to create an all-Wales nitrate vulnerable zone has continued to grow amid accusations of betrayal and broken promises.

Senedd Conservative opposition leader Andrew RT Davies tackled the First Minister on the subject during FMQs last week.

He accused Labour’s minister for environment, energy and rural affairs of betraying farmers in Wales by announcing the introduction of an NVZ across the whole country despite saying she would in the Senedd Chamber on seven separate occasions that she would not while the pandemic continues.

“We’re 10 months into this crisis, a crisis that has had a dramatic effect on all sectors of business including farming, and the Welsh Labour Government – propped up by the Lib Dem – decides to introduce a blanket NVZ across all of Wales when she had said she wouldn’t," he said.

“Labour’s farming minister was quite clear throughout the course of 2020 and the pandemic. Labour promised farmers up and down Wales they wouldn’t look at introducing these regulations while we were still dealing with the coronavirus crisis. Labour have broken that promise.

"I asked Labour’s First Minister to personally intervene on behalf of farmers and rural communities across Wales and hold off introducing these regulations when we’re still in the grip of a pandemic. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t even acknowledge that his minister broke a promise made seven times."

Meanwhile Plaid Cymru said both Conservative and Labour government policies were having a devastating impact on Welsh farmers.

Cefin Campbell, Plaid Cymru candidate in Mid and West Wales, said: "At a time when the UK Tory government has slashed £137million from the support for Welsh agriculture, the Labour Welsh Government plans to make the whole of Wales a nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ), despite fierce opposition from farming unions.

"When conditions are favourable, farmers usually spread slurry on their fields between October and March, but the NVZ will ban slurry spreading for five months over the winter period.

"Slurry will have to be stored at a time when most cattle are kept indoors, which could result in farmers having to invest heavily in huge slurry tanks to accommodate the increased waste.

2As agriculture and our rural communities in general face huge challenges following the Brexit agreement and the effects of the Covid pandemic, the Conservatives take millions of pounds of badly needed money away from farmers, and Labour bring in draconian measures that will have a devastating effect on small or medium sized dairy farms," he said.

"Although I fully understand the crucial importance of protecting our waterways from slurry pollution, the Welsh Government should have taken a more targeted approach."