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Protection Zone comes in 'nick of time': Local MP turns his sights on Alex Salmond

September 1, 2008 9:32 AM

Cows on a farm.After a summer of hard campaigning to get the bluetongue protection zone extended to Cumbria, local MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that Cumbria will be brought into the protection zone today (Monday).

This means that the Westmorland Show will be able take place with livestock from the rest of England present. It also means that Cumbrian farmers can trade freely with the rest of England and Wales during the crucial sales season.

However, the Scottish Government has yet to create a protection zone in Scotland, and is not planning to do so until late autumn at the earliest. This will restrict trade for local farmers with their counterparts in Scotland.

Mr Farron has written to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond MSP to urge him to pull his finger out and introduce a protection zone in Scotland.

Speaking this morning, Mr Farron said: "We've had a nervous summer waiting for the vaccine and the protection zone to arrive. They should have arrived much sooner, but now the announcement has been made its important to welcome it.

"Now we must turn our attention on Scotland. Mr Salmond's decision to proceed more slowly with bluetongue vaccination than the rest of the UK will hurt Cumbrian farmers who want to trade with Scotland. He must pull his finger out now to make sure that Cumbrian, and Scottish farmers do not suffer unnecessarily."