Bull charges to increase

By FWi Staff

CHARGES for hiring bulls to crofters under the Scottish Executives livestock improvement scheme are being raised by 60% in an attempt to balance the books.

Last year the executive spent 669,000 on the programme, but recouped only 210,000 from the 172 bulls supplied and 240 rams sold.

But the Scottish NFU has warned that raising bull hire fees, plus the charges for over-wintering bulls, will speed the decline in cattle production in crofting communities.

The revised charges for 2001 will see continental bulls for hire up from 105 to 160, with native breeds rising to 160 from the current 100. Rams will cost crofters 135 each, a rise of 5.

A government spokesman said the executive regretted having to increase the charges, but it was necessary to maintain a balance. A similar rise in charges should be expected next year, he added.

See more