10 March 1998
Meat group warns government of rural meltdown
THE Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers has warned government of a meltdown in the rural economy unless meat production plants and processors get an injection of financial support.
Alan Kirkwood, the associations president, told Lord Sewel, the Scottish agriculture minister, of his fears for the industry during a recent meeting.
Mr Kirkwood said Scotland had a beef and lamb export trade worth £230 million prior to when the Government announced on 20 March, 1996, that there was a possible link between mad cows disease and nvCJD, its human equivalent.
On top of the beef export ban, now all sectors have been burdened with additional food safety costs which has made the industry “extremely marginal and placing it at risk”.
He said he was pleased the Government overturned an original decision to charge industry for implementing the new specified risk material controls. However, he said cuts in rendering aid had increased costs for the industry by £120 million.
- The Scotsman 10/03/98 page 28