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Previous Action

Unsuccessfully tried to get Scottish National Farmers Union to carry out adequate consultations of all their relevant members.

Unsuccessfully tried to get the Scottish National Farmers Union to acknowledge the dire situation some dairy farmers in the Southern Isles found themselves in, when they were forced out of milk production or forced to cut back production. (eg. We were told at that time the SNFU  were only able to work for those dairy farmers who were expanding production.) In response to the PPC, NFU Scotland stated “NFU Scotland is not in a position to make comment or judgement on the issue of Human Rights.” (PE1263/C)

Responded to any Government Consultations when we knew they were taking place.
Made representations to several MSPs
Made representations to Rural Affairs Minister.
Several MSPs made representations to Rural Affairs Minister on our behalf.
Made complaints to Rural Affairs Ministers and Rural Affairs Department regarding lack of adequate dairy farmer consultations.

Our MSP advised us to make Complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

Made complaint to Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. Initially they told us  they dealt with Human Rights cases. Later they told us they did not deal with Human Rights cases and that we should take our complaint to The Scottish Human Rights Commission, which, at the time was not in operation.. When the SHRC was up and running, we were advised that they were not allowed to deal with individual cases. The Ombudsman’s Office, also, at first agreed that the “Ring Fencing” of Milk Quota was an on-going issue, then five months later said it was not. (This, of course, was incorrect as it was an on-going issue)

After considerable difficulty we found a Human Rights Lawyer who said “THIS WAS A POLITICAL DECISION. THE POLITICIANS SHOULD SORT IT OUT. GO BACK TO THE POLITICIANS”

Again made complaints to MSPs.

Met with officials of Rural Affairs Department, who agreed that the individual dairy farmer owned quota but that the  “Ring Fence” had been continued in the “Public Interest”.
Asked for meeting with Minister. He refused to meet with us. We were advised to consult a lawyer.

We submitted this same Petition in 2009 (PE1263) . It was closed in 2011. This Petition is categorically not about an individual but it is about an individual’s rights.

During the time our Petition was being considered by the PPC, many inaccurate statements were made by Government in their replies to the PPC. The day our Petition was closed, the Minister, Richard Lockhead gave evidence to the PPC, again making several inaccurate statements.

The following day, when we complained to the then Clerk of the Petitions Committee, we were told
a) There was no way of having these inaccurate statements rectified and
b) We would not be able to put our Petition back in again with the same wording.  (which we now discover was inaccurate on both counts)

We are resubmitting this Petition because it is Government’s responsibility to ensure that the Human Rights of ALL citizens are upheld and that the burden of proof lies with Government to demonstrate that is the case.  Nothing has been done to address this long standing injustice.

We were very dissatisfied with the outcome of the previous Petition and the fact that Government continually made misleading and inaccurate statements to the PPC. This has further compounded the stress and frustration felt by the farmers affected

We feel we have done everything possible to highlight this obvious injustice and have it rectified.

THIS BREACH OF OUR HUMAN RIGHTS WAS DISCRIMINATORY, DISPROPORTIONATE, ARBITARY AND PLACED AN INDIVIDUAL AND EXCESSIVE BURDEN ON INDIVIDUAL DAIRY FARMERS, THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH ARE STILL BEING FELT.