NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy has called on the Scottish Government to permanently reject any proposals to introduce predators such as lynx, wolves and bears to Scotland’s countryside.

“In our opinion,” he said, “no local or political consensus exists for such a release. Indeed, Norway recently paid out compensation for 20,000 sheep lost to predators and sixteen sheep are lost to every lynx.

"Predation of farmed livestock in Norway has actually reduced over the past decade – not because of fewer predators, but the because hill farmers have simply stopped keeping sheep, and around a thousand hill farmers have given up in the past ten years as they simply couldn’t handle losses on that scale.

“Those reaping any benefit are rarely those bearing the costs and negative impacts – the farmers and crofters dealing with the consequences in perpetuity.”


WELL-bred, finished hoggs met a good demand at Newton Stewart yesterday, with a top price of £170/head achieved for a pair of Dutch Spotted from JM Howie, Wellhouse, while Beltexes and Chevious sold to 316p/kg and 312p/kg for pens of from Bridgehouse Farming Co.

Mr J Drennan, Balgracie led the Blackfaces at £137/head and 291p/kg for a pen against an overall average of 259p/kg. Cast sheep sold to £181/head for Wellhouse with ewes to £168 for a Texel from Boreland. Mid Skeog led the Mules at £126 whilst Balker topped the Blackfaces at £98/head.

Hoggs at Dingwall on Tuesday didn’t quite scale the heights of last week, but hopper fed animals remained at a premium.

Despite a predictably higher number of leaner ewes being sold – casualties of a trying lambing season – trade on the whole bucked the trends of further south, with feeding sheep selling to £135 for a Texel Cross ewe from Loaneckhelm.

Prime cattle in Dumfries sold easily to 330p/kg for Limousin cross heifers from Yett to R Johnstone & Sons, while OTM cattle continue to be in big demand - beef cattle selling to 290p/kg for Grennan and £1,920/head for Midtown, while dairy cattle sold to 197p/kg for New Farm and £1,375/head for Grains.

Lighter hoggs averaged 276p/kg and sold to 307p/kg for Copewood, with heavier types averaging 264p/kg and selling to 296p/kg for West Skelston.

Calves at Ayr on Tuesday peaked at £640/head for a pair of Aberdeen Angus heifers from East Montgarswood with bulls to selling to £600/head for a pen of three from West Cairngarroch.

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In the rough ring, 125 cattle sold easily, bulls to £2,000/head for Kirminnoch and to 262p/kg for an Angus from Dunduff.

Cast cows sold to £2,220 for a Charolais from Balnowlart and to 274p/kg for a Limousin from Rosemount. Dairy cows sold to £1,730 for a Friesian from Kirminnoch to 220p/kg for the same breed from West Cairngarroch.