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Ross hails UK government climbdown on Agriculture Bill

By Alan Beresford

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THE UK government's shift in position over its Agriculture Bill has been welcomed by Moray Conservative MP Douglas Ross.

Douglas Ross MP. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Douglas Ross MP. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

An amendment has been introduced into the legislation, which Mr Ross voted against during the last debate on the matter, which offers enhanced protections for animal welfare and food standards.

The changes will also extend and expand the role of the Trade and Agriculture Commission (TAC) and place it on a statutory footing.

Mr Ross said: "Over the last few months, I have listened to farmers here in Moray who are rightly determined, as the Scottish Conservatives are, that our food and animal welfare standards must continue to be world-class.

“I voted against the government’s original position and I am delighted to see they have now changed course and adopted an approach that the NFU Scotland are behind.

“This move was vital to protect our domestic producers and maintain high food and animal welfare standards, just as the Conservative manifesto said we would.

“I am sure farmers across Scotland and the whole UK will welcome the UK government’s engagement on this issue and making this vital change to back local produce.

“This is an outcome I have been working hard behind the scenes to achieve and I’m pleased we’ve reached an outcome that works for our farmers here in Moray.

"Working on local farms here before my election means agriculture is really important to me, so I’m glad the UK government changed its position on this and listened to the strong representations made to them.”

The NFU Scotland have said that the changes are a “big step forward”.

They added that these amendments were “a major improvement to the existing arrangements” which will ensure “the right levels of trade expertise and scrutiny are in place as the UK

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