SENIOR Scottish Tory MSP Alex Fergusson has criticised proposals to restrict the use of fertiliser by farmers as “over-bureaucratic” and “unwanted”.
Mr Fergusson, a former Holyrood presiding officer, said the restrictions on the spreading of fertiliser, dung and slurry on slopes of 12 degrees unless the farmer has a ten-metre buffer zone at the foot of the slope were “unworkable.”
Organisations such as the Scottish Tenant Farmers Association have also objected to the proposed changes.
Mr Fergusson said: “These proposals come from a government that portrays itself as the farmers’ friend, yet they would render many of Scotland’s farms completely uneconomic. To ban the spreading of fertiliser, slurry, dung and chemicals on all land with a slope of 12 degrees or more is simply beyond the pale.
“It smacks of an over-bureaucratic, centralising government which seems to prefer increased bureaucracy to food security.”
A Scottish Government consultation document on the proposals said the changes would “achieve additional benefits for biodiversity, climate change and flood risk management”.