WHILE watching the interview on BBC Breakfast this morning (November 15) with the Prime Minister, I was appalled to hear him state that he would ban all live exports as it was "so cruel".

As someone who has been involved in the countryside and the agricultural community my whole life, I am shocked that our Prime Minister is so ill informed on this subject. The UK farming industry is the most regulated in the world and that includes the export of live animals.

If a blanket ban was introduced, presumably that would involve all animals. How are our pedigree breeding sectors in competition horses, pedigree dogs and cats going to continue if this is introduced? Is the export of horses ok – you can lead them onto the same lorry as the cattle would use?

Journeys of animals from the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland are longer and more onerous than taking animals across the English Channel. Are we to ban exports from our islands? This is fundamental to our farming industry in these areas. How do we support Island communities without agriculture?

The public perception of farming is being eroded to pacify personal anti-farming prejudices. Farming provides bread, beer and whisky for this country (plus thousands of tonnes of fruit and veg) and we also grow the most naturally near-organic beef and sheep in the world. We cannot grow almonds or soya, so we fly everything else in at a bigger risk to the planet. The majority of people in this country are still happy to eat good Scottish beef and lamb, as are people on the Continent.

No one cares more for their animals than farmers and it is high time the Prime Minister and members from all parties walked a mile in a farmer's shoes (although that wouldn't get them far in a farming day). Stop criticising farmers with your mouths full and get out of your armchairs and come see what we really do.

Fiona Sloan, Dumfries.