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Monday, 7 December 2009

SNP all over the place on sheep tagging

If you had asked me two years ago, would I be blogging about sheep tagging, I would have said categorically no, but now it is an extremely important part of my political work.

George Lyon MEP and Jim Hume MSP have both campaigned long and hard against the EID proposals that now, unfortunately come into force on the 1st January.

Following comments made by the SNPs MEP Alyn Smith, George Lyon the Lib Dem MEP for Scotland and the Lib Dem's rural affairs spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP have jointly written to Richard Lochhead MSP to seek urgent clarification on the Scottish government's policy on the implementation of EID.

The call by George Lyon and Liam McArthur comes after comments made by the SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Mr Smith is quoted as saying that the Scottish government does not think that helping Scottish sheep farmers fund the implementation of sheep tagging (EID) is "worth doing".

Alyn Smith also has said that he has been "quoted out of context by the Lib Dems".

Watch the video here and see what you think.

Liberal Democrats, along with the National Farmers Union, have repeatedly called on the Scottish government to help meet the cost of this regulation, when it comes into effect in just a few weeks on 1st January 2010.

Sheep farmers all over Scotland are already worried about the financial implications of the recession and now have have to meet the costs of implementing this utterly ridiculous sheep tagging scheme which could result in Scotland losing more sheep flocks from our hills, uplands and islands and yet more sheep farmers being forced out of business.

It would be astonishing if the Scottish government did not commit to fully fund the central database as the NFU and the industry have asked for.

Other countries, such as France, Spain, Italy and Greece have all used RDP funding to help ease the financial burden forced upon their farmers but the SNP minority government are doing absolutely nothing.

The SNP are obviously all over the place on this issue. It is time they stood shoulder to shoulder and made a firm decision and helped our farmers across Scotland to pay for this scheme.

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