8 December 2000
Dairy farmers seek share of hill cash

By Allan Wright

SCOTTISH farmers who have been denied hill livestock compensatory allowances want a 4 million share of area-based payments of less-favoured areas.

The dairy producers claim the switch from beef and sheep headage payments to area-based subsidy should end the discrimination.

About 70% of Scotlands 2100 dairy farms are designated LFA.

Their case was presented to Ross Finnie, Scotlands minister for rural development, during the DairyScot event at Ingliston, Edinburgh.

“We believe our case is indisputable,” said Scottish NFU milk convener Ian Kerr. “There is no reason why dairy farms should be excluded.”

Mr Kerr said European farm commissioner Franz Fischler, who recently visited Edinburgh, would not object to dairy farmers receiving LFA money.

The union estimates the cost would be about 4m and wants it as new money on top of the 60m allocated to traditional hill farms.

Mr Finnie said he would make no immediate judgement but would take the document away for a full appraisal of the arguments and implications.

He is also considering a plea to help two remote Scottish cheese creameries – at Campbeltown and Rothesay – meet new EU waste water regulations.