This week saw the STFA chairman Christopher Nicholson suggesting that landowners might look to exploit the Scottish Government’s intention of including deer farming in the next round of the CAP, by fencing off large areas of land in order to become deer farmers and meet eligibility requirements for direct support.
Scottish Land & Estates was disappointed by this sort of comment, which came after the previous week’s good news for deer farmers from Scottish Government.
Scottish Land & Estates responded by saying: “The Scottish Government’s intention to allow deer farmers to be included in the new CAP regime is extremely welcome and a useful step in supporting a sector with significant potential for growth in terms of jobs and export.
Scottish Land & Estates is also entirely supportive of the Scottish Government’s intention to close existing loopholes in the CAP regime and to ensure that support goes to active farmers. The idea that landowners would fence in large areas of land simply to attempt to exploit the agricultural support regime, potentially compromising their other activities, beggars belief. There is no evidence to suggest that would be the case. There will be, and should be, a comprehensive system of checks and balances that stops the system from being exploited.”