The Scottish Crofting Federation have denounced the proposed selling off of a rare and unique herd of Shetland Cattle by the Scottish Government.
Eleanor Arthur, chair of the SCF, said “It is ironic to find out that the Scottish Government has decided to quietly sell off the longest established herd of this breed in existence, in the same week as the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society, SCHBS, celebrated their centenary. The breed has fought its way back from the very brink of extinction and this is a particularly cruel blow as there are only four bloodlines in the entire breed, one of which is ‘Knocknagael’, the Scottish Government owned herd. If these animals are lost then the chances of retaining their irreplaceable genetics have gone forever. The Scottish Government’s move to dump the herd on the market without adequate warning to the SCHBS, the guardians of the breed, is unbelievably crass. We have written to the Minister asking for her to reverse the decision.”