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Thursday, 29 March, 2001, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Plans for Highland event go ahead
Horse at Royal Highland Show
A new format may be considered for the Royal Highland Show
The organisers of Scotland's largest agricultural show have confirmed that the event could be staged without livestock.

The Royal Highland Show attracted 150,000 people over four days last year, but the format of the 162nd show may have to be changed due to fears over foot-and-mouth disease.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Highland Show said that plans are going ahead as normal for the event, to be held from 21 June.

She said "no final decision" had yet been made on the format of the event, which is held at the Royal Highland showground at Ingliston near Edinburgh.

Food stand at Royal Highland Show
Non-livestock attractions could go ahead
A meeting on 11 April will decide whether to concentrate on the "other attractions" at the show such as food exhibitions, flower shows, craft areas and exhibitors' displays.

Organisers claim that a large percentage of those who attended had no connection with farms, and would be at no risk of spreading the disease.

A spokeswoman for the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland said: "At the moment we are planning to have the show as normal and we are in close contact with the Scottish Executive's rural affairs department."

She said the show would still attract thousands of visitors even if the decision to cancel the livestock events was made.

Confirmed farms in Scotland include
98 cases on 28 March
Lockerbie (15 cases)
Canonbie (13)
Gretna (17)
Lochmaben(4)
Twynholm(3)
Langholm
Beattock(6)
Corrie
Ruthwell(5)
Tundergarth(2)
Moffat (3)
Dalton(2)
Torthorward
Mouswald(6)
Hightae(3)
Kirtlebridge(2)
Creca
Collin(2)
Kirkpatrick Fleming(2)
Annan (3)
Troqueer
New Abbey(2)
Haugh of Urr
St Anns
Eastriggs(2)
Ecclefechan
Newcastleton
She added: "There are a huge number of attractions including exhibitions, flower shows and craft fairs and there is more to the show than livestock.

"People can buy anything from hot-tubs to saddles and it plays a important role in educating people about the countryside and rural industry.

"150,000 people do not come every year to look at animals."

Last year about 4,000 cattle, sheep, horses, goats and poultry competed in more than 400 categories, with the renowned livestock parade, horse competitions, show jumping, military bands and sheep dog trials among the attractions.

Braemar Gathering

Meanwhile, Beverley Tricker, marketing and PR manager for Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board, said the Braemar Gathering, which is attended by the Royal Family, would be going ahead as planned.

She said: "The Braemar Gathering is definitely not under threat.

"There have been a small number of cancellations from visitors but it is completely unfounded that these would place such a prestigious event in doubt.

"Indeed the organisers are reporting that numbers of people due to attend are up on the same time last year."

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See also:

28 Mar 01 | Scotland
Animal disease spreads in Scotland
26 Mar 01 | Scotland
Soldiers tackle cull ordeal
25 Mar 01 | Scotland
Rare breeds slaughter protest
15 Mar 01 | Scotland
Foot-and-mouth 'could cost 20m'
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