Agriculture MEP Offers Support To Scotland’s Farmers

07 August 2007
Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith has offered his support to farmers across Scotland in the face of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in England and the introduction of movement and export restrictions.

Mr Smith is a member of the European Parliament's influential Agriculture Committee.

Commenting on the outbreak and the restrictions Mr Smith said;

"The last outbreak of FMD in 2001 was devastating for farmers in the areas affected and had knock-on effects for the whole industry, not to mention the wider economy.

"I am pleased to see that lessons have been learnt from 2001 and the reactions of the Government both here in Scotland and at UK level have been much quicker this time.

"It is unfortunate that this has occurred only 14 months after farmers across Scotland saw their beef return to the European market and I hope that the ban on Scotch beef and lamb being slaughtered and sold for export will soon be lifted.

"I offer my full support to all Scotland's farmers and will be ready to argue their case in Europe, alongside my colleagues, as and when it is required.

"I welcome the swift action taken here in Scotland by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and I know that farmers understand the importance of these measures in ensuring the outbreak is contained and that we are all extra vigilant in terms of bio-security.

"I also know the importance for farmer's livelihoods and the economy of rural Scotland of having these restrictions lifted as soon as it is safe to do so."