Hill farmers under threat frommindless bureaucrats

18 August 1998

Hill farmers under threat from
‘mindless bureaucrats’

HILL farmers wrestling with the new traceability regulations face a threat to their livelihoods from mindless bureaucracy, claims John Cameron, chairman of the Scottish Region of the National Beef Association (NBA).

Mr Cameron said the rule requiring farmers to tell the British Cattle Movement Centre in Workington of all births within 28 days could present difficulties in the hills and uplands. He said: “I just wonder if any of these people who think up the rules have ever been on a hill.”

The regulations currently insist that any farmer who fails to meet the deadline will have a freeze put on cattle movements until an inspection has been carried out.

Mr Camerons view was echoed by Robert Forster, chief executive of the NBA. “The deadlines are not impossible, but they could prove difficult in a practical situation.” He said farmers could be tempted to cheat by changing birth dates.

Mr Forster was not confident about an early lifting of the beef ban. He said there was political interference which had to be “conquered and untangled” and mentioned the Germans as putting forward many objections to an early change.

  • The Scotsman 18/08/98 page 25

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