4 December 1998

SQBLA and SAC changes mean Scots will save

SCOTTISH hill farmers will save £110,000 next year in levy and subscription charges.

Most of the saving comes from the scrapping of Scotch Quality Beef and Lamb Association voluntary levies of 50p on store cattle and 10p on sheep.

The levies raised £85,000 a year but that was a small proportion of the total budget of £2.4m, said chairman John Ross. Store producers were already making a significant contribution through farm assurance charges and MLC levies, he added.

Further savings come from a 15% cut in membership and testing charges in the SAC abortion-free accreditation scheme for sheep.

Barti Synge, who heads the scheme, said it would cost the college about £15,000 and was a move to keep farmers in the scheme during the current period of financial hardship.

lSQBLA has announced that birth to slaughter farm assurance will mean just that next year. From Aug 1 for sheep and Dec 1 for cattle, finishers in the scheme will be required to buy stores from assured farms. &#42