Rural Affairs

SB 17-21 Implications of Leaving the EU- Fisheries

22 March 2017
This briefing examines Scottish sea fisheries in the light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Statistics are provided on the sea fishing sector and catches in the Scottish Exclusive Economic Zone.

SB 17-12 Agriculture and Brexit in Ten Charts

23 February 2017
This briefing explores 10 issues related to agriculture and Brexit.

SB 17-07 Draft Climate Change Plan and Scotland's Climate Change Targets

30 January 2017
The Scottish Government published ‘The draft Climate Change Plan – The draft third report on policies and proposals 2017-2032 ’ on 19 January 2017.

SB 16-102 Implications for Leaving the EU - Forestry

14 December 2016
This briefing summarises the ways that EU membership affects Scottish forestry. It also looks at the implications of alternatives to EU membership.

SB 16-93 Scottish Forestry

21 November 2016
This briefing provides an overview of the forestry sector in Scotland. A Forestry Bill is expected to be introduced in the Scottish Parliament in 2017.

SB 16-43 Rural Affairs: Subject Profile

25 May 2016
This briefing is written for the benefit of both new MSPs and those returning to the Parliament. It provides an overview of the main issues within the rural affairs portfolio

SB 16-24 Land Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

7 March 2016
This briefing provides a summary of the main amendments to the Bill at Stage 2

SB 15-84 Food for Thought: Scotland and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

16 December 2015
This briefing examines genetically modified organisms (GMOs), focussing principally on GM crops.

SB 15-49 Land Reform (Scotland) Bill

27 August 2015
The Land Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 22 June 2015. This briefing is intended to help inform Parliamentary scrutiny of the Bill at Stage 1, by summarising its key provisions.

SB 15-47 Animal Disease Surveillance in Scotland

26 August 2015
Scotland’s eight animal disease surveillance centres aim to provide early warning or prompt detection of new or re-emerging disease threats in animals

SB 15-38 International Perspectives on Land Reform

10 July 2015
This briefing considers the current patterns of land ownership, governance, use and management in Scotland, and compares them with those of other countries around the world.

SB 15-35 Pentland Regional Park Boundary Bill

18June2015
This provides some background to Regional Parks and the process for designating them, information on the existing Pentland Hills Regional Park, and on the Pentland Hills themselves.

SB 15-28 Land Reform in Scotland

03 June 2015
This SPICe Briefing provides an introduction to the broad subject of land reform in Scotland, covering a range of topics, devolved and reserved, urban and rural.

SB 14-69 CAP Reform 2014–20: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland

31 October 2014
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package for 2014-2020 has been finalised. This paper updates the November 2013 version which was prepared whilst many issues were still the subject of consultation.

SB 14-77 Draft Budget 2015-16: Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment

31 October 2014
This briefing details the amount of funding for each area, says what it pays for, and sets out how each area is performing against national indicators

SB 14-52 Tenant farming

25 July 2014
This briefing summarises the historical development and current state of tenant farming in Scotland, highlighting recent reviews and initiatives in the area.

SB 14-49 The Reformed Common Fisheries Policy 2014

30 June 2014
The reformed Common Fisheries Policy came into effect in January 2014. This briefing provides background to the policy, followed by an overview of the main features post-reform.

SB 14-35 Food (Scotland) Bill

21 May 2014
The Scottish Government’s Food (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 13 March 2014.

SB 13-76 CAP Reform 2014–20: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland

20 November 2013
This paper sets out the reactions and emerging implementation decisions of the four countries of the UK, and also of Ireland, in relation to the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package for 2014-20

SB 13-74 Wild Deer in Scotland

8 November 2013
This briefing gives an overview of wild deer in Scotland.

SB 13-25 Crofting (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

10 May 2013
The briefing provides some background on owner-occupier crofters; the Crofting Register, which is a map-based register of croft land; and on decrofting. It considers the problem; and describes the provisions in the Bill.

SB 13-20 Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill: As amended at Stage 2

09 April 2013
This briefing has been prepared in advance of the Stage 3 debate on the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill.

SB 13-19 CAP Reform: 2014-20

05 April 2013
This briefing contains the main elements of the European Commission’s proposals on CAP reform.

SB 12-72 Sea Fishing Quotas for 2013

03 December 2012
This briefing highlights some of the important issues in the December 2012 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made for 2013.

SB 12-68 Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill

05 November 2012
This Bill makes changes to the law on fish farming and shellfish farming.

SB 12-28 Peatlands and Climate Change

20 April 2012
This briefing describes the ecosystems services provided by peatlands in Scotland, with particular emphasis on their importance for climate change mitigation.

SB 12-02 Agricultural Holdings (Amendment)(Scotland) Bill

9 January 2012
This briefing details the development of the Agricultural Holdings (Amendment)(Scotland) Bill and the changes proposed by the Bill.

SB 11-84 Sea Fishing Quotas for 2012

6 December 2011
This briefing highlights some of the important issues in the December 2011 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made for 2012.

SB 11-82 CAP Reform – Legislative Proposals

18 November 2011
This briefing describes the European Commission’s proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2013. It updates SB11-06 CAP Reform: Proposals for 2014-20 to include the legislative proposals for the new CAP.

SB 11-70 Common Fisheries Policy Reform

20 September 2011
This briefing describes the main aspects of the European Commission’s proposals for reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. It explains the views of a variety of interested parties on the proposals.

SB 11-40 Rural Affairs and Fisheries: Subject Profile briefing

10 June 2011
This briefing provides an overview of the main issues within the rural affairs portfolio. It highlights the main legislation and policy developments in previous parliamentary sessions, and potential future developments.

SB 11-21 Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

The Bill seeks to create a legal and administrative framework for construction and management of controlled reservoirs in a manner that reduces the risk of an uncontrolled release of water from reservoirs and the consequences of any subsequent flooding.

SB 11-16 Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

The Stage 3 debate on the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill will take place on the 2 March 2011. This briefing is intended to provide a summary of the main amendments to the Bill as proposed and agreed during Stage 2.

SB 11-06 CAP Reform: Proposals for 2014-20 briefing

This briefing looks at the historical background to the Common Agricultural Policy and recent reforms; summarises proposals for the forthcoming reforms in three contributions to the debate.

Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill seeks to create a legal and administrative framework for the construction and management of controlled reservoirs

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services briefing

This briefing provides some background to the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity taking place this year, and then highlights three aspects of biodiversity.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2011 briefing

This briefing highlights some of the important issues in the autumn 2010 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made for 2011.

Wildlife Crime briefing

This briefing considers the definition of a “wildlife crime”, reviews the main legislation creating offences which are considered wildlife crimes, and provides some statistics on the incidence of wildlife crime

Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 briefing

This briefing is intended to provide a summary of the main amendments to the Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill proposed and agreed during Stage 2, it does not set out to describe every change that has been made to the Bill.

Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill briefing

This briefing contains background information and a description of the main provisions in the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill on: game law; snares; non-native species; species licensing; deer; badgers; muirburn

Non-Domestic Rates: Livestock Auction Marts briefing

This briefing for the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee provides information about livestock auction marts and the 2010 non-domestic rates revaluation.

Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill briefing

The Crofting Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on the 9 December 2009. This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, which is the lead Committee on the Bill.

Hill Farming briefing

This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. The briefing paper describes hill farming in Scotland and looks at evidence of a recent decline in sheep and cattle numbers on hills farms.

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy briefing

This briefing has been prepared for members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. The paper describes the main aspects of the Common Fisheries Policy, and considers the European Commission’s Green Paper on the future of the policy.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2010 briefing

This briefing has been prepared for members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee. It highlights some of the important issues in the autumn 2009 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and limits on fishing time will be made.

Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill: Rural and Environment bodies briefing

The Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Parliament on the 28 May 2009. This briefing has been prepared for Members of the Rural Affairs and Environment Committee.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2009 briefing

This briefing provides background information in advance of the autumn 2008 fisheries negotiations at which decisions by the EU on fishing quotas and days at sea will be made for 2009.

Food Security (Updated) briefing

This briefing gives an introduction to recent changes in food production and prices and considers the factors causing food price increases.

Scotland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 briefing

This briefing provides an overview of EU rural development policy and outlines the key elements of the new Programme and its funding.

Food Security briefing

This briefing gives an introduction to recent changes in food production and prices and considers the factors causing food price increases.

Rural Housing - International Perspectives briefing

This briefing provides a short overview of rural housing in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Norway.

Rural Housing briefing

This briefing provides an overview of housing in rural Scotland and outlines relevant policy initiatives.

Pigs briefing

This briefing describes some of the main features of modern pig production, and includes some information on the size and production of the industry in Scotland, and the price for pigmeat.

Healthy CAP? The Health Check of the Common Agricultural Policy briefing

Major changes to the EU Common Agricultural Policy were made in 2003. The agreement on the reform provided for a review in 2008, which has become known as the CAP ‘Health Check’.

Sea Fishing: Quotas for 2008 briefing

This briefing highlights some of the important issues in advance of the autumn 2007 fisheries negotiations at which decisions on fishing quotas and days at sea will be made for 2008.

Local Food and Food Policy briefing

Local food and food policy are distinct, but related policy areas. This briefing gives an introduction to the food supply chain, local food, and associated issues. It then sets out current Scottish Executive food policies, including for local food.

Rural Affairs and Fisheries: Subject Profile briefing

This briefing provides an overview of the main issues within the rural affairs portfolio. It highlights the main legislation and policy developments in previous Parliamentary sessions, and potential future developments.

SPICe Brexit/EU hub

EU Flag

Find out more information on the UK's decision to leave the European Union in the SPICe Hub (external site).

Briefings on digital hub

Person reading research briefing on tablet

You'll find all SPICe Briefings published from April 2017 onwards on our digital hub