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Argyll Abattoirs and Forestry – A Lively Debate

Argyll’s abattoirs and the farming and forestry interface were the hot topics for attendees at a joint meeting of the NFU Scotland Argyll & the Islands Regional Board and the Argyll & the Isles Agricultural Forum.

During the morning meeting, which was held in Ardkinglas House, Cairndow, Fergus Younger, the Forum’s Development Manager, outlined the challenging issues facing Arran, Mull and Islay abattoirs.

Local MSPs, Mike Russell and Kenneth Gibson were at the meeting, as was MP Alan Reid and all were keen to see what can be done to support small-scale peripheral abattoirs.

In the afternoon there was a tour of Glen Fyne looking at aspects of farming and forestry. There was a lively discussion about the challenges of integrating differing land-use objectives whilst maintaining agricultural activity. Andrew Barbour, Chair of the new Scottish Government Woodland Expansion Advisory Group, Ross Lilley from SNH and Syd House from FCS were also present to contribute to the discussion.

John Semple, NFUS Argyll & the Islands Chairman said:

“Many farmers are extremely concerned that whole farms can be planted with trees and we are working towards a balanced approach which recognises the need for food production and where tree planting can compliment hill farming, not jeopardise its existence.”

Angus MacFadyen, Argyll & the Isles Agricultural Forum Chairman said:

“This was a great opportunity for open debate and discussion on these issues for the 55 participants at the event. It is only in a format like this that we can pull together representation from all the rural agencies and farmers from across the region.”

Highlighting the wider benefits of retaining abattoir facilities in peripheral locations and advocating the need for some form of revenue support for small-scale facilities, Fergus Younger said:

“These facilities need to be recognised as a critical part of our rural infrastructure that allow producers another option to add value, but also support our tourism industry by supplying high quality meat with local provenance.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 148/11


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