The Defra ruling on Herd Books has the potential to spiral out of control for some breeds unless the government allows for a common sense approach.

It is sensible to have a single authority who can validate breeding programs; otherwise, we could end up with multiple breed societies for the same breed, and confusion would reign supreme.

However, the strict interpretation of the rules is preventing societies from breeding for the traits they desire.

Deciding on the direction of a breed is no easy thing, with a number of breed societies tussling with how to handle the myostatin genes.

The rules originate in the EU, and I suspect our European cousins have a more pragmatic approach when it comes to application. Yet again, Great British honesty has landed us in a pickle.

There are even some shocking stories from breed societies who could be forced to register animals even if they have grown an extra limb, as long as their parents are already in the book. Sense must prevail with Defra to allow our world-beating breed societies to maintain the ability to produce the best livestock.

Along the road from Defra’s office at Smith Square, UK farming leaders were agreeing on a package of measures with the Prime Minister to support the sector, although how this will affect Scotland remains unclear, as our Minister’s invite was lost in the post.

The pictures of farmers outside the famous Number 10 door are a reminder of the prestige of the Prime Minister’s office, even when the resident is starting to emit a stale whiff. Meanwhile, a Bute House selfie never seems to enjoy the same cachet.

Of course, the snub to the Scottish Government was entirely predictable. The constant attrition between Holyrood and Westminster over the most inconsequential things is dismaying and disappointing.

We are also let down this week by Morrisons, who have joined most of the retailers in stocking fresh New Zealand lamb. The supermarket has been lauded as championing local produce, with their network of abattoirs critical to the red meat sector.

The change only affects 39 shops and has been described as a trial, so fingers crossed retail chiefs revisit the decision as lamb supplies rise over summer.

A cracking few days of recent sunshine remind us the Royal Highland Show is only weeks away. Livestock across Scotland will be feeling the curry comb on their backs and hose on their feet in preparation for the big week.

Attendance at the show for people with stock costs thousands, not hundreds, of pounds, and they are the bedrock of the event.

One stockman explained that accommodation was running to £1500 before transport, feed, food, and drink. With the caravan site fully booked, many folks will find this year’s show the priciest yet.

We need to look at how to bring this cost down for those who are spending hours of their time bringing the best of Scottish agriculture to the public. Surely it is time to invest in purpose-built accommodation for those who work so hard for the whole of the farming sector.

We will have to wait for RHASS’s annual accounts to know if they can afford it.