THERE are still some nine months to go before the European ban on the use of sow stalls comes into being but pig producers in this country are not sitting back waiting to see if there is going to be compliance with a system unilaterally imposed in the UK more than a decade ago.
A delegation from the National Pig Association (NPA) heads out this weekend to Brussels to call on the European Commission to take swift and decisive action against countries that fail to comply with the January 2013 ban.
NPA director Stewart Houston said there was an urgency about ensuring other countries stepped up to the standards set by the legislation. “The information we have is that only three member states are currently compliant,” he said.
“These are Sweden, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom. Although we are told the big pigmeat producing countries in Europe, Denmark, Germany, Ireland and Holland, will make it by the deadline, we have concerns.”
He had information that a large number of small pig producers in south Germany were still using stalls and anecdotal evidence from Ireland indicated a lot of conversion work still to be done before meeting compliance regulations.
Houston said the delegation would call on the European Parliament to hold the Commission to account for implementing the ban. In addition, they would be asking MEPs to ensure there is proper enforcement of the ban in member countries.
SAC support for new faces
A NEW programme of activities to support new entrants into farming will be launched next month by SAC.
New entrants will have the opportunity to take part in a starter workshop at four locations throughout Scotland in the autumn and this will be followed by five topic-specific workshops next February.
“SAC will help deliver the skills required to ensure that new entrants have the capability and confidence to develop and build successful businesses,” said SAC senior business consultant Douglas Bell, who will manage the new programme.
“This will enable new entrants to grasp opportunities created by related initiatives run by other sector stakeholders.
Anyone interested in the programme should contact Bell on 01555 662562 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ground-breaking legal decision
A DECISION by the Court of Session this week will break a family link with a farm that has been their home for more than a century. The Riddell family will have to move out of the 530 acre farm of Peaston, Winchburgh as a result of an appeal from landowner Alistair Salvesen that the limited partnership tenancy had come to an end.
The complex case hinges on the 2003 Agricultural Holding Act. At that time there were many limited partnerships which, under the new legislation, could become tenancy agreements.
In a last ditch move before the legislation was altered, several hundred farming partners in these deals received notices the limited partnerships were being broken. This move, one day before the legislation came into force being labelled “the night of the long knives” by the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association.
The then rural affairs minister, Ross Finnie, gave the Land Court powers to decide whether these notices to quit had been solely to circumvent the legislation.
In the Salvesen v Riddell case, the Land Court decided a full tenancy had been created but this week that decision was overturned by the Court of Session.
The Court of Session decided that Salvesen’s rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 had been breached and confirmed that any legislation of the Scottish Parliament that is in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 is not law.
In a legal ground-breaking move, this is the first civil Act of the Scottish Parliament to have a provision declared to be outwith its legislative competence.
Thainstone – Aberdeen & Northern Marts sold 1,939 store cattle and four young calves. Bullocks (1,108) averaged 230.3p (-3.9p) and sold to 300p and £1,490. Heifers (817) averaged 214.5p (-6.9p) and sold to 365.7p and £1,360. Bulls (14) averaged 186.6p (-3.8p) and sold to 231.3p and £1,170. Young and weaned calves (four) sold to £300. The firm also sold 2,265 ewes with lambs at foot, ewe lambs, old season store lambs, island sheep and feeding sheep. Ewes with lambs (171) to £90. Ewe lambs (55) to £85. Store lambs (647) to £102. Island sheep (268) to £77. Feeding ewes and rams (1,124) averaged £82.69 (-58p) and sold to £155.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South