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EU Cattle Virus Rules Questioned

04 January 2008

UK - Bluetongue disease is the plague that every farmer in Scotland hopes will be contained south of the Border. Towards the end of last week Richard Lochhead, the cabinet secretary for rural affairs, made his position quite clear.

He said: "Over the last three weeks, three consignments of animals transported to the UK from restricted zones in Europe have tested positive for the virus – the most recent one involving 35 cattle from Germany to a farm near Kirkcudbright.

"While it is fortunate that the virus was picked up by our strict post-import testing protocols, it highlights some serious questions about the robustness and the relevance of current EU regulations… but the industry must have confidence in the rules governing the management of this virus."

However, the economic reality is not quite as simple as it may appear to those not directly in the front line. Rowland Kershaw-Dalby is now semi-retired near Castle Douglas where he runs a suckler herd. Prior to his move north he was a substantial milk producer in England.

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Source: Scotsman


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