12 May 1999
Scottish dairy farmers could go bust

CASUALTIES are expected in the Scottish dairy sector in the very near future, according to Murray Stevenson, president of the Ayrshire Cattle Society.

The strong Pound, the end of the calf slaughter scheme and the £8 charge for cattle passports in October are burdens the industry could not afford, he said.

Mr Stevenson said breed societies and farming organisations would have to co-operate and overcome the current poor state of the industry.

But he was more positive on the marketing of Ayrshire Milk, pointing out that it is now sold in 250 stores all over the UK and worth more than £5.5 milk a year.

Mr Stevenson also predicted a bright prospect for the Ayrshire breed, saying one herd had doubled in size over the last five years in response to demand for Ayrshire milk.

The world federation of Ayrshire breed societies had agreed plans to establish premier breeds in each several countries to maintain the purity of the stock.

Mr Stevenson suggested the way forward was to create a breed index for Ayrshire cattle based on their known good traits.

Ayrshire cows are renown for their ease of calving, low calf mortality, low cell count, superior quality milk and good udders.