Scotland’s meat wholesalers yesterday urged the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, to join them in their fight to retain critical supplies of livestock for their industry.
In an open letter, the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers warned that, unless positive action was taken, the meat processing sector in Scotland faced a dire future.
SAMW claimed that, during the first five months of this year, numbers of cattle slaughtered in Scottish abattoirs fell by 9 per cent compared with 12 month previously.
Their chief executive, Ian Anderson, described this fall as “very concerning”, coming as it did on the back of a five-year period of decline in supplies, with 10 per cent fewer breeding cows than there was back in 2006. Currently it is believed that red meat processing plants in Scotland are only at 80 per cent capacity.
“The rot must be stopped now or the consequences of a diminishing meat processing sector for the rural communities, the economy and employment will be dire before long,” he said.
The forthcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy provided, according to Anderson, an ideal opportunity for the Secretary of State to prove his stated claim that “when the Westminster and Scottish governments act together” they were stronger.
SAMW wanted UK support for increasing the cash going into the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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