26 July 2007

Stevenson Welcomes SNP Government Action to Remove Threat to Agricultural Shows

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed the announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead to abandon plans brought forward by the previous Labour/Liberal Scottish Executive which would have forced agricultural shows and sheepdog trials to apply for special licences.

A key part of the SNP’s election manifesto commitment to the agriculture industry was the reduction in red tape and Mr Lochhead has stated that shows and exhibitions will now be exempt from the requirement to apply for a licence except for those where stock are to be bought and sold.

Welcoming the announcement, Mr Stevenson said:

“With the summer show season in full swing, I am sure this news will be welcomed by show committees across the North-east as a common-sense move.

“We need to remember that these events, which have been around for well over a hundred years, are organised by volunteers. If the burden of paperwork becomes excessive then people may simply give up and we would then be in danger of losing these important parts of our heritage.

“So I am delighted that the SNP Government has acted to remove this threat to our agricultural shows which is part of the wider drive to reduce the amount of red tape.”

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