Cull ewe plan to commission
PROPOSALS for a cull ewe scheme have been submitted to the EU Commission for approval.
A response is expected by the end of the week and hopes are high that there will be a favourable outcome.
After the meeting of all four UK farm ministers in London last week (News, Sept 10), it was left to Scottish minister Ross Finnie to prepare a proposal for a cull scheme.
A Welsh call to pay farmers £10 a ewe and £20 for every calf slaughtered was dismissed and the Finnie plan concentrates on removing stock from central collection points to abattoirs and rendering plants.
Scottish Office officials already had the plan well prepared and it was finalised by last Friday and approved by the other ministers on Monday before going to Brussels.
"We are reasonably confident about the outcome. Speed is essential because it will be a short-lived scheme and we need to get ewes off the hills as quickly as possible," said Scottish NFU president Jim Walker.
But he added that a long term strategy for farm dead stock would be needed because of fears that the EU will move within the next year to ban on-farm burial.