Driver rules relaxed to help farmers fight snow

THERE has been no let-up for farmers facing continued difficulties feeding and watering livestock.

The Scottish Government has relaxed drivers’ hours and working-time rules for 
hauliers delivering animal feed and fuel and the National Farmers Union of Scotland is campaigning for a general relaxation for everyone involved in livestock haulage.

It also suggesting other regions following the Borders in setting up distribution points for red diesel and heating oil where suppliers are having problems getting to farms.

So far, 50 farm building roofs have given way under the weight of snow.

NFU Scotland’s chief executive James Withers said: “To get our livestock moving to markets and abattoirs in the run up to the crucial Christmas period, we need livestock haulage to be included in the derogation and are speaking to the Scottish Government about this.

“Buildings collapsing under the volume of snow is a huge concern. Clearing snow from roofs must only be considered if it can be done in a safe and responsible manner. Safety must be the priority.”

He suggested anyone with damaged buildings contact the Borders Machinery Ring (01896 758091) to be put in touch with those with empty sheds for temporary stock accommodation.

He urged Scottish Borders Council: “For those needing to erect temporary shelter, we are encouraging planning inspectors at local authorities to be pragmatic when it comes to putting up emergency sheds.”

He added: “For those toiling in these conditions, I urge 
them to remember that they 
are not alone. Neighbours, friends and family are 
often more than willing to help and the union itself has a network of members, secretaries and staff happy to assist where possible.”