South Scotland MSP Emma Harper will be participating in this year’s virtual Stranraer Show, given that the show cannot physically go ahead due to the restrictions against large gatherings taking place as part of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The South Scotland MSP has attended the Stranraer Cattle Show every year since her election as an MSP in 2016, and previously attended each year when she grew up at Colfin Farm near the Lochans.

In the ‘Tour of Trade Stands’ video, which is to be put online today by the Stranraer Show organisers, Ms Harper took the opportunity to provide a short update on her Livestock Worrying Bill and invite those watching to input in to the call for evidence for the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy committee where the Bill is being scrutinised.

The Bill has a number of key aims, including to update and strengthen the 67 year old legislation around attacks on livestock by out of control dogs by increasing the penalties available to the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service.

The Bill propose to make the law around livestock attacks clearer and concise.

This year the Stranraer Show, which falls on the last Wednesday of each July (Wednesday 29thJuly this year) is producing the ‘Tour of the Trade Stands’ video, which will be posted online this Wednesday morning and will include various contributions as well as a surprise ‘live’ element on the day.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“It is unfortunate that the cattle and agricultural shows have been cancelled this year due to Covid19 pandemic. However, I applaud the organisers of the Stranraer Cattle Show in that they have made the innovative decision to go online and I look forward to participating.

“I will be using the opportunity of my online video to provide an update on my Protection of Livestock (Scotland) Bill. The Bill, which many will be aware of, has now been presented to the Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee and will be considered during committee sessions in October. The Committee currently have an active call for evidence which I encourage anyone to input and make their views heard. The Bill aims to increase the powers of the Police and Courts in relation to attacks on livestock by out of control dogs which can be both emotionally and financially detrimental to those in the agricultural sector.

“I also understand the importance of cattle and agricultural shows to the agricultural community. Many I have spoken to have told me about how the agriculture shows allow for people to connect face-to-face, something the busy life of farming often doesn’t allow for.

“I look forward to attending the Cattle Show again next year, hopefully in its traditional format.”