Liberal Democrat candidate for Orkney and Shetland, Alistair Carmichael, has demanded urgent action regarding changes to regulations on livestock transportation. Speaking during a campaign visit on Rousay today Mr. Carmichael called on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Orkney Ferries to work together to find a solution that allows livestock producers to continue to ship off-island. Farmers and crofters on Rousay have been unable to ship livestock as a result of new regulations from the MCA regarding the length and height of vehicles on ferries.
Commenting, Mr. Carmichael said:
"The need for these regulations is not entirely clear. These services have operated for over 30 years without incident. It is also not clear what consultation was done with the communities affected before the introduction of the new rules.
"These, however, are questions for another day. This is a crucial time for farmers and crofters to ship livestock to market. For them to be unable to do so is deeply concerning."
"I shall be contacting both the MCA and Orkney Ferries who should be working together to find a way of continuing to provide these lifeline services for farmers."