Tractor in the outer Isles


Minister “badly advised” on Implications of Open Market Sale

Friday, November 05, 2010

The Scottish Crofting Federation is staggered at the apparent lack of understanding shown by Environment Rosanna Cunningham of the serious implications of selling the Knocknagael Shetland Cattle Herd on the open market.

In an interview to BBC Radio Shetland last night Ms Cunningham’s defended her decision to place the herd of 9 cattle from the Knocknagael Stud Farm, Inverness into the rare breed sale at Dingwall Auction Mart tomorrow. Ms Cunningham’s statement that the cattle would only be sold for breeding shows a complete lack of understanding on how an open market works. The Chair of SCF Eleanor Arthur said “If these cattle enter the auction ring how on earth can she dictate what the buyer does with an animal after they have paid money for it? Surely the Kye then become private property and the owner can do what they see fit, this I fear will be the end for a few of the cattle.”


Crofters Aghast at Rare-Breed Cattle Sell-Out by Scottish Government

Friday, November 05, 2010

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.”


Sustainable Livestock Bill

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

There is a Sustainable Livestock Bill progressing through Westminster – it has its 2nd reading on the 12th of Nov.

It is summerised as ‘A Bill to require the Secretary of State to improve the sustainability of the production, processing, marketing, manufacturing, distribution and consumption of products derived to any substantial extent from livestock; and for connected purposes.’ In short, it calls on the UK government to control factory farming of meat and milk that is dependant on imported soya that is grown on deforested land in amazonian regions.

The full Bill can be found at:

and you can sign a petition at: