27-01-2010 : KEY QUESTIONS REMAIN UNANSWERED ON SHEEP EID
Commenting on the SNP Government's announcement of support for Scottish farmers with sheep tagging, Orkney MSP and Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs spokesman, Liam McArthur, said:
"This announcement of support is long overdue and still leaves many key questions unanswered.
"Richard Lochhead still hasn't revealed what the cost of the proposed national database will be or whether or not Ministers will access EU funds to help Scottish farmers meet the cost of these controversial proposals.
"A great deal of anger and frustration persists within the industry about the electronic tagging of sheep in Scotland.
"Whilst some of today's announcement will be welcome by our hard pressed farmers, I will continue to put pressure on Ministers to address the many outstanding issues."
Commenting, Liberal Democrat MEP for Scotland George Lyon added:
"This announcement leaves us seeking guidance on the guidance.
"It talks of transitional help for farmers but does not make it clear if the Scottish Government will commit to funding the central database.
"Without this commitment, Scottish farmers will be put at a competitive disadvantage with our European competitors. This is would be an unfair conclusion to an unnecessary regulation.
"I will be pushing the Scottish Government to match the commitments made to by other EU Member states. Scottish farmers deserve no less."