‘Serious rethink’ needed on animal transportation proposals

Fresh criticism has been levelled against plans to change conditions in which livestock can be transported by ferry.

Farmers have slammed proposals being consulted on by the farm animal welfare committee (FAWC), which they warn could spell the end for livestock farming in the isles.

Among the changes being proposed are plans to prevent livestock from sailing unless they can be kept above 5°C.

Another proposal is to ensure animals do not go to sea in anything more than a Force 6.

Isles MSP Beatrice Wishart says a “serious rethink” is needed.

“The proposals in the consultation threaten the viability of livestock production in Shetland,” she warned.

“There’s no arguing that Scotland should have the highest standards of animal welfare. But regulations to achieve that must be practical.

“Serious concerns have been raised by the local industry that the recommendations around wind speed and temperature restrictions would make livestock transport impossible at crucial times of the year.

“Shetland’s crofters and farmers already put animal welfare at the heart of their work.

“It’s clear that there has been little attempt by the farm animal welfare committee to understand the realities of industry in the Northern Isles.

“There must be a serious re-think of the proposals to make sure any changes to regulations are fully island-proofed.”


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