Defra rejects plea by Scottish Government for welfare cull

SCOTLAND - Defra has claimed that it has no money for a welfare cull of hill lambs despite the Scottish Government stressing that it has a moral responsibility to pay for it.
calendar icon 22 September 2007
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That prompted an angry response from NFU Scotland at the negligent attitude of the UK Government to the consequences of an outbreak that it is partly, if not wholly, responsible for.

Richard Lochhead, the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, and a team of senior Scottish officials had forcefully conveyed the scale of crisis faced in Scotland to Secretary of State Hilary Benn, UK chief vet Debby Reynolds and Department for Environ- ment, Food and Rural Affairs officials at a meeting on Thursday.

advertisementThe First Minister, Alex Salmond. has personally intervened in the wrangle by writing a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown that makes a very strong case for such a cull. Despite that, the Defra officials played down the problem, stressing there was no issue right now in England.

While the financial wrangling continues between government north and south of the border NFUS and other industry bodies are working with Lochhead on the detail of a welfare cull scheme and an announcement of firm proposals is expected by the middle of next week.

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