NFU Scotland has described the result of this week's vote in the House of Commons on amendments to the Agriculture Bill as a bitterly disappointing outcome for Scottish farmers and crofters and the public.

Despite the UK Government’s assurances and its own manifesto commitment that it will not compromise high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection, it did not back a new clause in the debate in Parliament that would have enshrined these principles in law.

Instead, it chose to overturn a large majority of support in the Lords for an amendment that would have upheld the requirement that future trade deals must not curtail the UK's ability to grow its reputation for quality food and drink by undercutting domestic production with imports produced to standards that would be illegal or unacceptable here.

NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick said: “NFU Scotland has consistently argued that new trade agreements are a major opportunity for Scottish agriculture. We pride ourselves on provenance and quality: herein lies the opportunity.

“Farmers, crofters and growers in Scotland must be enabled by the current and future governments to reach a thriving export market in a manner which builds on our existing, world-leading standards of production.

“This ambition goes hand-in-glove with the UK Government’s own manifesto commitment not to compromise the UK’s standards of animal welfare and environmental protection. For this reason, NFU Scotland and the vast majority of our members are bitterly disappointed that the amendment was not supported. It is an ambition that has received unprecedented levels of public support and celebrity endorsement, which we welcome.

“I will continue to advocate at every turn to ensure that Scottish and UK standards of production are considered in the negotiation of new and other trade agreements. I firmly believe that is what the public wish to see.”

Market round-up

C&D Auctions sold 78 cattle,1336 prime lambs and 638 cast sheep at its weekly sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday.

Prime cattle sold to 230p/kg for a Limousin cross heifer, while OTM cattle sold to £1,190 for a Luing bull and 134p for a Simmental.

The trade for prime lambs remains firm with top prices of £96 for a heavy Texel and 238p/kg for lightweight lambs. There were 794 lambs in the 39kg – 45kg weight range which averaged 201p/kg.

Cast ewes were easier on the week. Top price was for a heavy Charolais at £130 while North Country Cheviots peaked at £65.

Caledonian Marts sold 1,502 store lambs and feeding ewes at their weekly sale at Stirling yesterday. All classes would be £3-£4 sharper on the week.

Top price of the day was achieved for a pen of Zwartble cross Texel lambs at £84.