This added 13:55
As the early risers sit over their bowls of cereal with milk, this morning, BBC Scotland may have caused many to feel a sudden surge of disgust with this headline report:
‘Animal welfare groups are calling for calf exports from Scotland to be banned following a BBC investigation. Thousands were shipped last year from the port of Cairn Ryan, yet none was exported from England.’
Were none exported from England simply because English beef is still banned in most places due to BSE concerns? See more on this below.
We also heard that these were ‘boy’ calves. Why not ‘male’ calves? Makes a better story?
Then we heard that the ‘campaigning groups’ (unnamed) thought long journeys ‘unnecessary’. Just ‘unnecessary’, not ‘cruel’?
Finally, the report tells us that the NFU says ‘export is better’ and that the Scottish government says, ‘live export is an important option for the country’s economy.’
Now, seriously, I have concerns myself about cruelty in the dairy industry and I’m lactose-intolerant, but I’m entertained here by BBC Scotland leaping on a possible SNPbaad storty about cute wee ‘boy’ calves to make one of those comparisons with England they say is wrong, especially if it’s about NHS Scotland.
However, could BBC Scotland have missed the real reason for England’s non-exports?
Scottish beef can, as of July 2017, be sold anywhere globally after the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recognises the BSE risk from beef raised in Scotland is at the safest level available – negligible risk. England and Welsh beef remain at controlled risk BSE status and will not be reviewed before 2020.
Rural Secretary Fergus Ewing was applauded by the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers for his help with the bid for approval, in 2017, said:
‘This is reward for years of hard work from the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers, producers, our red meat businesses, vets, and this government all of whom have worked tirelessly to build a failsafe system which protects our animal and public health. Scotland’s meat exports are currently thriving and this certification stands us in good stead for our exporters to increase Scottish Beef exports even further.’
The president of the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) described the work of Fergus Ewing and his staff as ‘invaluable’.