Tractor in the outer Isles


FMD Compensation a Good Start

Thursday, October 25, 2007


The announcement yesterday of a compensation scheme for sheep producers affected by the recent Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak was welcomed by the Scottish Crofting Foundation.

Speaking after the statement made in Parliament by Richard Lochhead, SCF Chairman Norman Leask said, “The offer of £6/head compensation payment for breeding ewes will help sheep producers recoup some of the losses of the last few months. It is a welcome start and we commend the Scottish Government for all their efforts thus far to support the agricultural sector in this difficult period.

For the longer term, we were very pleased to hear cross party agreement in Parliament yesterday on the need to shorten the supply chain and support more local abattoirs. This would undoubtedly help put in place a more regionalised response to any such crisis in the future and perhaps allow island groups such as the Shetlands and the Western Isles to keep markets open.”


Bull Scheme Underway

Monday, October 22, 2007


The Scottish Crofting Foundation has written to the Crofters Commission asking for information on the options for the future of the bull hire scheme.
Speaking at the SCF Annual Gathering in Dingwall last month Crofting Minister Mike Russell, stopped short of committing his government to a revitalised scheme in the longer term.
Instead, he proposed a three-pronged approach. Firstly he tasked the Crofters Commission to formally appraise the investment required in the existing stud farms. Secondly he charged the Shucksmith Inquiry with considering whether such a scheme is the best way of achieving the government’s vision for crofting. Thirdly and in keeping with the overall theme of his speech to the conference – government supporting communities to deliver on their own priorities - he asked the crofting community to consider how the money could be best spent to support crofting?


SCF Dismayed at Outcome of Meeting

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) today expressed its disappointment at the failure of UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn to make any offer of compensation to Scotland’s beleaguered livestock industry at yesterday’s meeting with industry representatives and Scottish MPs. SCF Chairman Norman Leask said, “We are dismayed but not surprised by this outcome. We would assure our members that this will not affect the light lamb welfare scheme already announced by the Scottish Government. What is urgently needed is, firstly a welfare scheme for cast ewes, and secondly realistic compensation for the devastating losses suffered by our members, who are the innocent parties in this fiasco.


SCF Seek Compensation

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) was today hoping for a positive result from a meeting between industry leaders, MPs and UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn held this evening (Tuesday) in London. This meeting was set up by Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael in the hope of securing a compensation package from the UK Government to ensure the survival of the livestock industry in Scotland which has been brought to its knees by the Surrey Foot and Mouth outbreak.


Petition for compensation for Farmers

Monday, October 15, 2007

"We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Call on the government to provide financial compensation to all farmers who suffer financial loss as a result of the government restrictions of movement of animals which are a consequence of the lapse in Bio-Security at the Government's own laboratory at Pirbright in August 2007."

Resumption of Exports - Conditions and Requirements

Friday, October 12, 2007

The draft European Commission Decision permitting the resumption of fresh meat exports from Scotland (and other parts of Great Britain) includes a number of conditions. The Decision will be formally adopted and published this week coming into effect at the weekend. This note provides an overview of the requirements so people can consider the implications it may have for them. Further, more detailed information will be provided later in the week.


Dismay Over Political Row

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation today expressed dismay at the apparent disappearance of compensation for losses suffered by farmers and crofters as a result of foot and mouth disease restrictions.


Crofters Reluctantly Accept Welfare Scheme

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) has accepted with regret the necessity of a Scottish Government welfare disposal scheme for lambs of under 25 kilos which would normally be sold in the European market. SCF Director Donald MacDonald said, “The resumption of meat exports has come too late for the majority of this trade and there is no alternative to a welfare scheme. We deeply regret that these healthy, good quality lambs, which are normally in great demand in southern Europe, will not enter the food chain, despite our arguments that a market could and should be found."


Scotland Launches Emergency Sheep Welfare Scheme

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Scottish Government today launched its scheme to avert an animal welfare catastrophe on Scotland's hills. Around 250,000 light lambs which should have already been slaughtered and shipped to European markets now face starvation because of the onset of winter and of a lack of grazing. The export markets for which these sheep are bred have been closed for most of the past two months and these markets will only reopen, subject to conditions, on Friday (October 12).


SCF Welcomes the End of the Meat Export Ban

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation welcomes the announcement of the ending of the meat export ban to Europe on the 12th of October subject to no further outbreaks outwith the surveillance zone. SCF Vice Chairman Neil MacLeod said today: “Hopefully the lifting of the ban will come in time to save the light lamb export trade for this year but there may still be a need for a welfare disposal scheme in some cases. It shall however be treated with caution with the 30 day residency and the 21 day movement rules still in place, there are many complications and hurdles to cross and it will not be easy for many to comply but we strongly urge our members to observe the remaining restrictions.


Croft Tourism

Thursday, October 04, 2007

We’ve farmed for livestock, we’ve farmed for subsidies, should we now farm for tourism?

We all think we live in the finest area of the country if not of the world but you can’t eat the scenery. Or are there ways that we can use the attractions of the Highlands & Islands to enable us to make a living here?


OCDS ends on Dec 31st 2008

Thursday, October 04, 2007

New arrangements now apply for the booking of slaughter slots under the OCDS. At the time of booking a slaughter slot you must:

1. provide the ear tag number of the animal
2. quote your CPH number.

Bookings cannot be made without this information and must be made through the abattoir/market only.

Please see pdf below for details:-


Consultation on Extension of Crofting Counties Welcomed

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Scottish Crofting Foundation today welcomed the decision to consult on the possible extension of the Crofting Counties. The proposed consultation, announced by Crofting Minister Michael Russell, will invite views on whether parts of the HIE are currently outside the crofting counties should be included.