Introduction to livestock inspections

Date published: 1 January, 2015

Cattle, sheep and pigs are an important part of Scotland's rural economy and food production chain, so it's important that we check high standards and practices are being followed.

A major part of our livestock inspections are focused on making sure that our animal traceability system helps us respond effectively and quickly to any outbreaks of serious disease, such as foot-and-mouth.

For example, accurate holding registers and livestock movement notifications can ensure the rapid tracing of animals and their movements in the event of a major disease outbreak.

Our inspections are carried out to check that livestock keepers comply with their obligations under European, UK and Scottish Law.

They are also vital in demonstrating to the European Commission that the industry is farming responsibly and avoiding risk to Common Agricultural Policy payments which are essential to our farming industry.

Inspection outcomes

Livestock inspections are a part of the Cross Compliance inspections programme.

You can find out more about Cross Compliance here

Our inspections programme is designed to ensure the highest standards in Scottish agriculture, and the Scottish Government is liable for fines from Europe if there is widespread failure to meet key rules.

So, if you fail any part of your inspection, you could be liable for a reduction in payments or even legal action.

If you do fail part or all of your inspection, we will refer to this as a breach and any further action will be assessed depending on how serious the breach is.

Further information

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