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Agriculture (Wales) Act 2023

Section 2 - Welsh Ministers’ duty in relation to the objectives

29.Section 2 (1) requires the Welsh Ministers to exercise certain of their functions in the way they consider best contributes to achieving the sustainable land management objectives, so far as consistent with the proper exercise of the function.

30.In order to comply with this duty, the Welsh Ministers will need to consider all four SLM objectives when they are exercising a function to which the duty applies and will then need to exercise the function in the way they consider best contributes to achieving those objectives (taken together), so far as consistent with the proper exercise of the function. The SLM objectives are intended to be complementary, and, in some cases, this will mean that action can be taken that contributes to all of the objectives, though not necessarily equally. In other cases, this may not be possible, for example, where the exercise of a particular function has no effect in respect of one or more of the objectives.

31.In each case, the Welsh Ministers will be required to exercise relevant functions in the way they consider best contributes to the objectives (so far as consistent with the proper exercise of the function). This means that where there is more than one option for the Welsh Ministers, they will be required to choose the option that they consider is most beneficial in terms of its contribution to achieving the SLM objectives.

32.The Welsh Ministers’ functions to which the duty applies are specified in subsection (2) and (3) and are subject to the exceptions at section 3.

33.Subsection (2) provides that the functions to which the duty applies are:

  • functions under this Act (section 2(2)(a));

  • functions under any other enactment that require or allow the Welsh Ministers to provide support for (i) agriculture, or other activities carried out on land used for agriculture, or (ii) ancillary activities (section 2(2)(b));

  • functions under any other enactment that require or allow the Welsh Ministers to regulate (i) agriculture, or other activities carried out on land used for agriculture, or (ii) ancillary activities (section 2(2)(c)).

34.Subsection (3) provides that that the SLM duty applies to the functions referred to in subsections (2)(b) and (2)(c) only to the extent that those functions are exercised to provide support for, or to regulate, (a) agriculture, or other activities carried out on land used for agriculture, or (b) ancillary activities (and not, therefore, to the extent that those functions are exercised for some other purpose).

35.Agriculture" is defined at section 51; “ancillary activity” is defined at section 52; and “functions” is defined at section 54.

36.Other activities carried out on land used for agriculture may include, for example, leisure activities or events where the main use of land remains primarily agricultural e.g. activities or events held for only a specific number of days in any given year.

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