Special place for Scotland in CAP talks

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SCOTTISH agriculture should be treated as a special case in talks about reforming the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy, it was claimed yesterday.

And the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers said it was “absolutely crucial’ CAP reform delivered support measures for calf and lamb production.

In an open letter to UK and Scottish ministers and MEPs George Lyon and Alyn Smith, SAMW president Alan McNaughton said 85 per cent of Scottish agricultural land was Less Favoured, against 16 per cent in England, while grassland and rough grazing accounted for 79 per cent in Scotland, against 61 per cent across the UK.

And he said: “The Scottish proportion of breeding cows of a beef breed, as opposed to dairy breed, is 72 per cent. In England it’s 40 per cent.” He said Scotland received only 1 per cent of the UK budget for coupled payments, and urged this be raised.

He added: “To continue to suggest traditional market conditions will deliver sustainable food production in the vulnerable regions of the UK is naive.”