The Scottish Crofting Foundation (SCF) has welcomed the decision to delay changes to the crofting Cattle Improvement Scheme until a review team has investigated and reported back with possible alternatives.
SCF parliamentary spokesman Norman Leask said: “This has been an issue the SCF has put a great deal of effort into as we appreciate how much the bull scheme means to crofters and to retaining cattle on the hill.
“We are very happy to see that the minister listened to what we have been saying, and to his colleagues in other parties who have also taken up the issue, and has decided to give the opportunity for a specialised group to look at this more closely and to come up with recommendations.”
The (former) minister for environment Michael Russell announced that a review group would be set up to look at the cattle improvement scheme and would be expected to report back this autumn. In effect this means that the current scheme will continue for another year.
Mr Leask continued: “Unfortunately consultation was noticeably lacking in the original decision to close the scheme without any viable alternatives being suggested. We appreciate that there are always other ways of doing things but these need to assessed before a decision can be made on how to proceed. We are gratified to see that Michael Russell has been big enough to recognise this.”
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