Hills need cull ewe scheme urgently

Friday, 20 August, 1999

By FW Staff

A GOVERNMENT backed cull ewe scheme is needed to prevent a welfare disaster on the hills this autumn, say producers.

Ayrshire hill sheep producer Kenny Donald of Blairpark Farm, Dalry, where he keeps 1300 Blackface ewes, says producers will have to sell cull ewes regardless of value because fodder supplies are short, but it could turn into an environmental disaster.

“A cull ewe scheme is needed to prevent a welfare disaster. It will be unacceptable if producers have to start disposing of large numbers of cull ewes.

“We need action; there are so many regulations controlling production and yet there is no income coming back.”

Scottish NFU livestock committee vice-chairman and upland producer David Mitchell agrees that post-BSE slaughter regulations are strangling cull ewe trade.

“We are regulated out of business, we must free this trade up.”

Ensuring all EU countries have the same specified risk material controls is a priority, and making some practical sense of the rules to ease pressure and stimulate export is needed, he says.

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