17 August 2001

Scots not giving up

FEW, if any, farmers affected by foot-and-mouth disease in Scotland intend to give up farming, according to provisional results from a new survey.

Work done by SAC showed that none had decided to quit the industry. "But there are 17-20% at the moment who say they do not know," said Peter Cook, head of SACs rural business unit.

"These results have not yet been analysed," he told the audience at a seminar at Dumfries Show.

"But when they were asked why they were staying in farming, there was an interesting response."

Among the reasons were that there was optimism about the future. "The sheer resilience of this industry in being optimistic is amazing," Mr Cook said.

The survey suggested that in Dumfries and Galloway, where agriculture represents 23% of GDP, there would be a rise in dairy cow numbers, a consolidation in the beef sector, and a marked fall in sheep. &#42