The Scottish livestock industry will be “stuffed” unless England urgently cooperates in devising a coherent cross-border plan to combat bluetongue, NFU Scotland has said.

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Union vice-president Nigel Miller made a plea for an immediate “knocking together of heads” in a speech at the Agriscot business event in Ingliston on Wednesday (19 November).

He warned that Scotland’s prospects of avoiding bluetongue were now entirely determined by policies south of the Border. And he repeated his accusation that it was England’s poor uptake of vaccination and importating of livestock from Europe which had led to Scotland’s vulnerable status and the country’s policy of compulsory vaccination.

“The scenario has never been worse,” he said. “We are now facing a nightmare. We need a UK-wide health policy and we need it now.”

He admitted his remarks had made him extremely unpopular in England.