Union’s fears for Scottish beef sector

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WITH the Scottish Government consultation document on their version of the forthcoming common agricultural policy CAP coming out next month, NFU Scotland yesterday repeated its call for Scotland’s beef sector to receive the maximum permitted linked support payments.

The UNION’S argument was that beef production accounts for almost a quarter of Scotland’s agricultural output but the latest statistics have continued to show falling cow numbers.

Data on payments made through the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme revealed that the number of calves claimed in 2012 fell to 402,000, down from 432,000 in 2011. In that same period, the number of businesses claiming under the scheme has fallen by 500, suggesting, the union claims, that many producers are simply walking away from keeping beef cows.

Union president Nigel Miller underlined how seriously he saw the position: “The number of Scottish producers keeping beef cows has been on the slide for some time – down almost 1,000 from the last CAP deal in 2005.

“These dramatic figures for 2012 beef calf scheme claims are alarming with the realistic expectation that figures for 2013 will be poorer again.”

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