14 April 1999
Scotsman reports on live exports

THE Scotsman reports on last weeks announcement that the government is poised to reduce the live sheep exports with an increase in inspection charges.

The newspapers information comes from a Ministry of Agriculture consultation document issued last Thursday (8 April).

The document proposes raising the veterinary costs of exported sheep from about £80 plus VAT per lorry-load to £209.63 plus VAT.

The move is in line with the governments opposition to live exports, which it is unable to ban without breaching European single market rules.

The Scotsman suggests another reason for the hike in export charges could be an “unwritten government agenda” to reduce the national ewe flock.

A 35% to 45% reduction would be needed to reduce the number of ewes from 20 million to 12m so that domestic production matches home consumption.