29 July 1999
Finnie fights for level playing field
SCOTLANDS rural affairs minister Ross Finnie has promised to tackle production restrictions which disadvantage British produces.
Mr Finnie also said he would lobby the European Commission about the issue of de-stocking farms under the Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) scheme.
The EC has said it is illegal to transfer sheep quota from ESA land to another part of the farm.
There are about 250 farmers in Scotland faced with having to pay back about £250,000 in sheep premium.
Mr Finnie confirmed that the government was looking to get an interim payment for farmers affected by the decision to pay hill subsidies on an area basis.
The payments have previously been made on a headage basis, according to the number of animals kept.
- The Herald 29/07/99 page 27