>> 9 November 2010

Local Gordon MSP, Alex Salmond, has today announced an increase in support for farmers towards their electronic identification (EID) requirements bringing the SNP Scottish Government's support to £5 million.

Mr Salmond announced the further £1 million funding for the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) to extend the Scottish EID research pilot.

The Scottish Government, working in partnership with industry, has produced a simplified system to electronically identify all animals - a move which will help reduce bureaucracy and keep trade efficient.

The additional £1 million announced today will further develop and extend the ScotEID database, reporting systems from farms and recording systems that operate at marts, abattoirs and ferry terminals.

Commenting on the increase, Mr Salmond said:

"Farming is fundamental to life in the North East of Scotland. Agriculture plays an integral role in our wider community and sustains much needed jobs in our area.

"This additional £1 million funding brings the total Scottish Government support to finding cost-effective solutions to electronic identification to £5 million. It will benefit farmers as well as meeting EU requirements and protecting animal and public health.

"The SNP Government has fought tirelessly to secure concessions on this issue - even though we faced an uphill struggle after the ConDem UK Government signed up to EID several years ago.

"Through Government and industry working together, we can go further. We can use animal health to reinforce Scotland's position in the globalised markets of tomorrow.

"We already have our fantastic reputation for quality produce. I would like children across Scotland, in our cities, towns and villages to learn about the food they eat, from plough to plate and reinvigorate Scotland's relationship with food, the land, and our farmers. We are working with our schools to make this happen. The potential for food from Scotland is huge, and there is much more we can do to build on it."

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