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Support for snow-hit farmers
With up to 200 farm buildings collapsing or suffering other major damage due to the weight of snow, a new short-life working group is to consider how those affected can be helped.
The move follows a meeting between Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead and farming organisations.
The working group will be made up of industry bodies, technical experts and insurers and will be chaired by Scotland's Chief Agricultural Officer Drew Sloan.
Mr Lochhead said:
"The recent weather has caused serious problems across the whole of Scotland, but none more so than in our rural areas.
"Snow damage to agricultural buildings will leave affected farmers in a very difficult position. With up to 200 thought to have suffered damage, I am keen to explore options and consider what further support we can offer.
"The Chief Agricultural Officer will chair this short life working group and I have asked for initial findings to be ready by January 28."
Bodies represented on the group will include NFUS, SRPBA and SAC and its remit will be to:
- Analyse returned questionnaires from farmers suffering damage.
- Establish the geographical spread and location of the premises affected.
- Establish the range and type of buildings affected.
- Establish the extent of damage incurred especially in relation to the application of current building regulations.
- Establish the insurance position.
- Identify requirements for replacement facilities and establish the capacity for construction within the desired timeframe.
- Make recommendations in relation to Government action.
The group will first meet when data has been gathered from questionnaires submitted by those affected not later than January 25. Questionnaires will be available in RPID Area offices and on the Scottish Government website.