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Thursday, October 21, 2004


It is often said that the Assembly can resemble a school playground. I am not going to argue. However, there are times when it can be educational. On Tuesday for example I learnt yet another useful agricultural fact, doubling my knowledge of rural issues (only joking). It was just a shame that the explanation as to what a hefted flock is then degenerated into predictable knockabout.

Helen Mary Jones: .............Concerns were raised about the effect of whole-flock genotyping, and of removing less-resistant genotypes, on local and rare breeds and organic and hefted flocks in Wales—hefted flocks are not as much of a problem in Wales as they are in parts of England and Scotland, but the issue remains. The Minister will also be aware that there are concerns that the—[Interruption.] Sorry, Presiding Officer, I was distracted momentarily by the First Minister, who was asking what a hefted flock was.
The Presiding Officer: Order. If the First Minister wishes to meet any hefted flocks, he can visit Meirionnydd at any state of the tide. I will see him up on the Mignaint.
Helen Mary Jones: I am sure that that would prove educational for the First Minister and help to ensure that his Government understands as much as possible about the needs of rural Wales.

Mick Bates: On a point of information, a hefted flock usually stays in its place without thinking or straying—just look behind you, First Minister. [Laughter.]

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