Farming beef

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Your article (Farming, 7 May) addressed the news that Scotland was to be fined £8 million for Defra’s failure to implement livestock inspections, failure to increase inspection levels where farmer error was beyond an acceptable level and government inspectors allowed grant aid to be paid on cattle that had lost their official ear tags.

It’s good to know the EU is taking the issue of cattle traceability seriously, as no-one, not least the major supermarkets, would like to serve beef that can not be traced back two generations.

But one does wonder the level of fine a farmer would face if an inspector were to discover that 29 per cent of his cattle were horses.

Assuming that if both official tags were in place within a week of each foal’s birth and passports had been correctly applied for, should a fine result?

Ben Douglas

Galashiels