Crofters moving sheep to Scotland and EU markets should be exempt from “ridiculous and draconian” Scottish government rules, according to MSP Tavish Scott.
He says there is a need for livestock to be traced to its home croft but he is meeting the Scottish secretary in the UK government at the annual meeting of the NFU today to press for reform.
Mr Scott has campaigned for Shetland to be exempt from sheep EID, a measure meant to ensure that animals can be traced. He argues that requirement can be met by tagging animals as they leave Shetland for Aberdeen, reducing an enormous regulatory burden that Shetland crofters face.
“Last week the European Parliament voted to remove the link between EID and farm support penalties. Good for them. I want the UK government to support this position with other European governments.
“Then the Scottish government could take a much more reasonable approach to the imposition of these draconian EID rules. At the moment crofters face enormous fines and penalties for an unworkable system.
He hopes by lobbying UK ministers a breakthrough can be made, “in terms of these ridiculous rules and ensure that Shetland’s crofters can produce quality livestock for market without a weight of penalties and bureaucracy hanging over their heads.”
If adopted the change would be a “notable step forward” for crofters, he said.