Executive must lead on animal health issues
NFU Scotland has stressed the need for the Scottish Executive to
lead on Scottish animal health issues and not defer to DEFRA on what is a
This follows the recent publication of the Executive's response to the Foot
and Mouth Disease Inquiries.
The Executive's response focuses on reducing the risk of disease being
brought into the country, minimising the spread of disease should it come in and
effective contingency planning.
NFUS President Jim Walker said: "The Scottish Executive has stressed in its
response that animal health is fully devolved to Scottish Ministers.
"Yet on a number of crucial animal health issues, such as the assessment of
the impact of the 20-day livestock standstill and future compensation for
livestock compulsorily slaughtered, they seem satisfied to let DEFRA take the
"Livestock movement controls in Scotland are governed by Scottish
legislation, and rightly they reflect Scottish conditions. For well over a year
now, NFUS has been calling for a Scottish regulatory impact assessment of these
controls, considering both the economic and veterinary consequences of the
"SEERAD has given in to DEFRA for this to be carried out on a GB basis,
despite it being Scottish legislation under Scottish control.
"Similarly, on future arrangements for compensation for livestock
compulsorily slaughtered and other costs of disease control, it is simply not
good enough for the Executive to be 'represented on a DEFRA led working group'.
DEFRA and the Treasury have their
own agenda for animal disease insurance; a proposal that has even been
dismissed by those in the insurance industry, partly due to Britain's woeful
"The Executive must take its own lead for animal health policy in Scotland,
just as it took a lead last year and eradicated Foot and Mouth Disease in
Scotland without interference from