Holyrood will be a quiet place for the next week or two as MSPs return to their constituencies for the Easter recess, with many keeping an eye on the current Westminster polls.

For the agri sector, an absence of politicians from the grey corridors of parliament will give a welcome, albeit brief, respite from the blizzard of legislation and consultations that are either directly or indirectly affecting industry.

The Agriculture Bill has been steered through Stage 1 of the legislative process in a competent and workmanlike way by Conservative MSP and committee convener Finlay Carson.

Significant concerns remain that the Bill may yet give too much decision-making power directly to ministers and lacks enough detail to allow proper scrutiny – or provide confidence to industry.

The Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill has passed Stage 3 and is poised to become an Act, while Green ministers in particular are patting themselves on the back at the prospect of at least one more national park in Scotland, despite arguably failing to make the case for why it is a good idea.

Deer management and land reform are the next issues in the sights of ministers, but farmers and land managers have also found themselves as collateral damage in more urban-focussed legislation.

Most recently, the bid by politicians to make a constitutional rammy out of selling mousetraps as we report this week perhaps shows how far political discourse has fallen.

Rural organisations across industry have worked extremely hard in highlighting the importance of the rural economy and way of life – pointing out unintended consequences and the impact new legislation will have.

Their efforts have seen some well-deserved success, but it is difficult for anyone watching the political landscape in Scotland to avoid the conclusion that some of the political decisions being made are driven by ideology rather than evidence.

While we wait for the UK General Election to be announced for this year, Holyrood won’t be subjected to the ballot box until 2026, and a lot of decisions affecting agriculture – for better or worse – could be made between now and then.

The recent carefully scripted statement by Green minister Lorna Slater in response to a question at Holyrood that options are being explored to ‘support farmers to host beavers’ through upcoming changes to agricultural support should be setting alarm bells off across industry.

This suggests a direction of travel that will see an organic carrot and stick approach that weaponises agricultural support to nudge industry into moves that may please the environmental lobby, but makes an already challenging way of life even more precarious.

It may be that the case for protest in Scotland, like those seen in other parts of the UK, becomes compelling.