Crofters are being urged to compile a list of the penalties and red tape that makes life difficult for them to help inform a new inquiry.
Isles MSP Tavish Scott has been contacted by former Aberdeen Marts boss Brian Pack who is doing carrying out an inquiry into farm regulation across Scotland. He wants “chapter and verse” on regulations and penalties which are deemed unfair, don’t work or are out of proportion.
Mr Scott said: “I have been taken aback by the penalties applied by the Scottish Government on island crofters. Small changes to the area of land used for agriculture have been used as a way to fine crofters. Yet the Government issued new maps on a different scale and, unlike the Northern Ireland Agriculture Department, have not allowed a moratorium so that crofters could catch up with the change.
“Crofters have also had years of talk on reducing regulation. The biggest and worst one is sheep identification – sheep EID. It can’t work. It doesn’t work and it won’t work. So with one fell swoop the Scottish Government could take a massive step to help sheep producers by abolishing a system that does nothing to secure animal health or to improve the movement of animals.
“Brian Pack understands agriculture so his work is worthwhile and important.”
He said Shetland crofters could contact him and he would pass on any suggestions, or submissions can be made online at www.farmregulation-doingbetter.org.