Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus B MacNeil challenged the Secretary of State at the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs, (DEFRA) Owen Patterson MP, to agree that crofters and farmers, who are primary producers, should face no more burdens of regulation in the wake of the horsemeat scandal as it was a problem at the retail end of the market.

During the debate, Mr MacNeil highlighted that butchers in Stornoway have seen an upturn in trade as a result of the horsemeat problem.

Mr MacNeil said:

“The horsemeat story looks set to continue for some time and the last thing farmers, crofters and primary producers need is further bureaucracy as a result of this.

“During the debate, I suggested that we should now be pressurising the supermarkets and major retailers to stock from as close to source locally as possible, the best of Scottish lamb and beef to make sure that we do not have a repetition of this situation.

“I expressed my wish that the horsemeat scandal would not be used as an excuse for imposing further onerous paperwork on farmers, crofter and producers.  Mr Paterson replied that he agreed with my assertions and he would not be looking to go down this route.  I am certainly glad that governments are listening to sense on this.”