Inverurie's Steve McMinn to champion rare breeds

Steve McMinn of Inverurie has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of national conservation charity Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).
Steve McMinn with Eriskay foal CorreenSteve McMinn with Eriskay foal Correen
Steve McMinn with Eriskay foal Correen

RBST works UK-wide for the survival of our native breeds of livestock and equines.

Breeds currently categorised as Priority or At Risk on the RBST Watchlist include North Ronaldsay sheep, Native Aberdeen Angus cattle, the Eriskay pony and the Clydesdale horse.

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Steve joins the Board of Trustees which sets RBST policy, agrees strategy and approves major commitments.

Former Police Officer Steve and his wife Ruth keep rare breed Eriskay ponies in Inverurie.

A long-standing RBST member, Steve was one of the group of volunteers who restarted the RBST Northern Scotland Support Group.

He has been Chair of the RBST Scottish Forum since its establishment in 2020 to co-ordinate and unify the voice of rare breeds' interests across Scotland.

Steve said: "We are at a crucial juncture for the future of the UK's rare native breeds of livestock and equines, with all four nations of the UK developing their post-Brexit strategies for the future of farming, land management and the environment.

"Using native breed livestock, which were bred for our landscapes and require far less input than continental breeds, can and should be core to a sustainable and nature-friendly future for farming and food production.

"There is exciting scope to multiply the benefits that native breeds already bring in Scotland, and the RBST Scottish Forum has had great success in demonstrating the benefits of Right Breed, Right Place, Right Density.

"Rare breeds such as Shetland cattle and Highland ponies can create habitats for biodiversity on our vast tracts of marginal land, our native livestock can provide high quality foods sustainably, and they can all make an important contribution to the Scottish economy.

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"I will be working on behalf of RBST members, and actively engaging with other organisations that hold the same ideals as RBST, to unleash these breeds' potential for Scotland and throughout the UK."

The RBST Scottish Forum will be hosting a Farm to Fork conference in March 2023 to explore the big questions of sustainable farming and food production. Look out for details at in the New Year.

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