Shetland’s Ronnie Eunson has been appointed as a member of an expert working group on the management of animal health and welfare in Scotland.
Mr Eunson, chairman of the Shetland Livestock Marketing Group (SLMG) and area commissioner for Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles of the Crofters Commission, will work with three others under the chairmanship of John Ross of the Moredun Foundation.
The working group will provide evidence-based advice to the government on potential proposals for sharing responsibility of the management of animal health and welfare in Scotland with industry and on potential revenue generating mechanisms that may be applied in Scotland enabling the costs of the management of exotic animal disease to be shared with industry. It is hoped to influence future European Commission thinking.
Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The Scottish government supports responsibility and cost sharing in principle, particularly in relation to focussing intervention where most appropriate and working in partnership with the industry.
“Scotland has an excellent reputation for the quality and health status of our livestock. This group will help ensure this continues and place us in a position of influence as Europe moves forward with the cost sharing agenda.
“This is an important area of work that has far reaching implications for the future of animal health management in Scotland and I would like to personally thank those individuals who have kindly agreed to participate in the forum.”
The other members are John Cameron, president of Scottish Beef Cattle Association & Scottish Region of National Sheep Association, Jim McLaren, president of NFU Scotland, and Dr Alistair Stott, reader in Animal Health Economics at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC). Members of the group will participate on an individual basis rather than as representatives of the organisations that they are affiliated to.