24 May 1996

Scots are outraged

SPECIALIST beef finishers in Scotland are outraged at the EUs failure to lift the beef by-product ban and the lack of financial help.

Aberdeenshire producer Alan Smith blamed both NFU and government for ignoring their plight. "I know I have support from beef men all over Scotland for a more equitable distribution of the millions being poured into the industry to support beleaguered farmers," said Mr Smith.

"I have lost £20,000 on the 100 prime cattle I have sold in recent weeks and I have another 100 to sell. I get no compensation because the cattle are all under 30 months of age. The dairy sector is protected from the cradle to the grave and the current distribution of compensation must be stopped and redistributed more fairly."

Aberdeenshire farmer George Skinner, who is losing up to £200 on every animal compared with pre-BSE prices, said: "We are selling cattle at £634 that cost an average of £515 as stores last autumn. But these animals have each cost £7.50 a week to feed plus interest."