Writing in support of both letters in TSF Dec 1 from Mrs Maimie Paterson and Sandy McCreath regarding government department's penalties for innocent mistakes, you do read about criminals getting smaller fines or getting off scot-free for some serious crimes and offences – and they will have legal aid thrown in.

With farm assurance inspections carried out with so many pointless questions, it is little wonder that some farmers get annoyed and lose sleep. I myself had to endure five or six, and some farmers even longer, seven hours, for safe haven seed potatoes, cereals, Red Tractor fresh produce.

It is no surprise that the RSABI have never been in more demand to help farmers that are having difficulties. These situations can be complex and can happen to anyone at any time – wasteful bureaucracy can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. There is a lack of leadership in many areas from some government departments, to assurance scheme operators and owners of these schemes who appear to be oblivious to the pressure they are putting onto farmers, and forwarding the blame onto distillers, the grain trade and super markets.

True or false, I do not know, with Dyslexia affecting maybe as high as 60 -70 % of farmers, with the most of them unaware that they are, and some may even have a minor learning problem.

It is little wonder that there is a serious mental health issue that the RSABI are having to try to cope with. Surely the people in committees and organizations, if 60-70% had the same issues there would be a lot less bureaucratic nonsense. The very same people must be adult enough to realize a lot of what they are doing is not needed, every one seems to blame everyone else with no one taking responsibility.

As an employer we would not be allowed to put our employees under the same pressure especially if they had a disability. The same should be applied to government and assurance inspections putting unnecessary stress and pressure, with some inspectors appearing to enjoy their authority.

Patrick Sleigh


Hillhead of Daviot