The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Live­stock body warn­ing on threat of trade deals

In­dus­try: UK Gov­ern­ment in­sists new op­por­tu­ni­ties will come for farm­ers

- BY JIM MIL­LAR UK News · Oceania News · Livestock Industry · Agriculture · Meat · Industries · Food · United Kingdom · Government of the United Kingdom · New Zealand · Australia · European Union · Central Security Service · The National (Scotland)

A na­tional live­stock as­so­ci­a­tion is urg­ing the UK Gov­ern­ment to con­sider the broader po­ten­tial im­pacts of new trade deals.

The Na­tional Sheep As­so­ci­a­tion (NSA) spoke out as trade talks with New Zealand and Aus­tralia be­gin and warned the gov­ern­ment it must not be will­ing to sac­ri­fice the UK farm­ing in­dus­try or un­der­mine stan­dards for the sake of a deal that might ben­e­fit other Bri­tish in­dus­tries.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion said deals with Aus­tralia and New Zealand cre­ate “unique chal­lenges” due to the size of the sheep meat in­dus­try in the two coun­tries and fail­ure to achieve suit­able deals would have “cat­a­strophic ef­fects” for the UK sheep in­dus­try.

How­ever, the UK Gov­ern­ment said the talks will “se­cure new op­por­tu­ni­ties for farm­ers”.

NSA chief ex­ec­u­tive Phil Stocker said: “The UK cur­rently has a fine bal­ance with lamb and mut­ton ex­ports, im­ports, and do­mes­tic con­sump­tion.

“There is real con­cern that in­creas­ing tar­iff rate quo­tas (TRQs) for ei­ther New Zealand or Aus­tralia will dam­age this bal­ance and make no com­mon sense at all. We would have that con­cern in nor­mal times but now, with fu­ture trade with the EU be­ing un­cer­tain, get­ting th­ese deals wrong would have cat­a­strophic ef­fects for our in­dus­try and for the en­vi­ron­ments and com­mu­ni­ties that ben­e­fit from it.”

A UK Gov­ern­ment spokeswoma­n said: “The

UK will de­cide how we set and main­tain our own stan­dards and reg­u­la­tions, and we have been clear that we will main­tain our high stan­dards of food safety and an­i­mal wel­fare.”

She con­tin­ued: “We will stand up for Bri­tish farm­ing and en­sure free trade agree­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions are used to se­cure new op­por­tu­ni­ties for farm­ers.”

 ??  ?? PLEA: The Na­tional Sheep As­so­ci­a­tion has warned the UK Gov­ern­ment against sac­ri­fic­ing the do­mes­tic sec­tor upon the al­tar of free trade
PLEA: The Na­tional Sheep As­so­ci­a­tion has warned the UK Gov­ern­ment against sac­ri­fic­ing the do­mes­tic sec­tor upon the al­tar of free trade

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