12 June 1998
Scots are following code for
fallen stock — Sewel
By Allan Wright
THERE is no evidence of Scots ignoring the agreed code of practice for the handling and burial of fallen stock, according to Scottish farm minister Lord Sewel.
Speaking at Beef 98 in Fife, Lord Sewel said he had asked the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to investigate claims made in a television documentary that guidelines were being ignored in south-west Scotland and that water supplies were in danger of contamination.
“Those investigations have been carried out on two farms and the SEPA has reported that, after some very minor adjustments, all the requirements of the code were being met and there was no question of water contamination,” he said.
Beef 98, opened by Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar, attracted about 5000 to the farm of Scottish Beef Council chairman, John Cameron.
Mr Cameron claimed that the presence of two ministers was evidence of the clout wielded by his council. It is one of five in Britain forming the National Beef Association (NBA), which will retain only tenuous links with the National Cattle Association. Former journalist and industry commentator Robert Forster has been appointed chief executive.
The NBA has 700 members – 500 of them in Scotland, but Mr Cameron has laid wagers that the figure will rise to 1000 by the end of the year.
Membership of the NBA costs £25, but Scottish NFU president, George Lyon, warned that there was a finite amount of subscription money available from farmers and suggested the association would struggle to win members.
“We will work with the association and its Scottish council but it must be remembered that we have recognised representation in Europe and they do not. We have the technical staff to analyse policy and they do not,” Mr Lyon said.
Mr Cameron claimed there was great need for a specialist organisation clearly focused on the needs of the beef industry, while Mr Forster added that the NBA would not have to worry about the competing interests of the dairy sector in arriving at policy decisions.
For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 12-18 June, 1998