The UK Government has made the headlines with its proposals for a Free Trade Deal with Australia.

This could open our market to more products from down under without import tariffs or quotas.

This all sounds fine until you look at what they have to offer.

Australia is the second largest exporter of beef in the world.

Much of this currently goes to the Far East, Middle East and Indonesia.

However, their methods of farming are totally different to that of Wales, with farms measured in square miles, huge feed lots and cattle moved in road trains for long periods without breaks and with little regulation.

We also know that practices such as the use of growth hormones are permitted in Australia, practices which have been totally outlawed in Britain for many decades.

Feedlots with 10,000 cattle are common, and dwarf the average Welsh beef herd of just 23 animals.

The scale of Australian production and some of the practices used there give them a significant competitive advantage, and fully liberalising trade with such a huge producer, with no safeguards in place will result in real damage for Welsh agriculture and the rural businesses our farms support.

It is time our political representatives live up to their promise and maintain UK animal welfare standards and high levels of food traceability.

The ramifications of such deals not only stop at the door of UK agriculture, but further upset our European neighbours who are our main trading partners, and we hope, will still take much of our export lamb.

By the time this is printed, I will be one of the lucky ones who will have had a second Covid-19 jab in Newtown. What an efficient and friendly service they run in the Leisure Centre.

My thanks go to all involved, and I believe we should all be very proud of them and their great effort.