MSP for Shetland, Beatrice Wishart, has welcomed the proposed changes to live animal transport to recognise the unique challenges facing Shetland and the islands in this area.
Ms Wishart recently made a joint submission to the Welfare of Animals During Transport Consultation, with Liam McArthur MSP and Alistair Carmichael MP, calling for more provisions to be put in place for Shetland and island communities on a case-by-case basis.
The Shetland MSP along with the MSP for Orkney, Liam McArthur, also wrote to the Minister for Rural Affairs, Ben Macpherson, to highlight the need to consider the livestock farming situation in the isles in the absence of any island impact assessment being carried out.
Commenting, Ms Wishart said:
“Shetland’s crofting and farming community were rightfully concerned about the potential impact that these changes that were being considered by the Scottish Government could have had on their livelihoods, and indeed on the way of life here.
“Ministers in the Scottish Government clearly didn’t give a second thought to communities like Shetland when initially drawing up these plans and as such failed to make any accommodation for island communities when it came to the transportation of livestock. The proposal would have effectively ended livestock transport between the islands and Scottish mainland while delivering few, if any, benefits to animal welfare standards in Scotland.
“I would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to the Scottish and UK Government consultations. This announcement shows how important those representations have been and I’m happy that the Scottish Government has changed course after countless islanders made their opinions heard in these consultations.”