Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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2 April 2003

Stevenson Slams Continuing Cattle Movement Errors

SNP candidate for Banff & Buchan Stewart Stevenson has slammed continuing delays faced by local farmers in receiving support payments. The delays are being caused by the Scottish Executive having to cross check information supplied by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).

Mr Stevenson raised this matter in a Parliamentary debate at the end of January following meetings with affected farmers.

Speaking in Cruden Bay today, Mr Stevenson said:

“I find it quite incredible that two months on from when the Minister assured me in Parliament that everything possible was being done to deal with the situation and minimise the delay that this is still causing problems for farmers.

“Of course we need accurate records of cattle movements, but the system must not add to the heavy burdens that farmers have had in recent years. Farmers say that the book should be thrown at anyone who is cheating, but the farmers who are affected by this problem are not cheating; they are being cheated. The current system is not sustainable, fair or equitable.

“It is quite simply not acceptable to me that my constituents should be disadvantaged by errors which are mainly the fault of the BCMS and I call on the Scottish Executive to take urgent action to ensure that payments can be made as quickly as possible.”

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