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Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Royal Highland Show returns
Highland show
Last year's show was a casualty of foot-and-mouth
Scotland's showcase farming event is back after a break of two years.

The Royal Highland Show, which was cancelled last year because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, opened on Thursday morning at Ingliston, near Edinburgh.

This year's show is some measure of how the agricultural industry has recovered from foot-and-mouth crisis, which devastated farming.

The Royal Highland Showground is expecting an estimated 150,000 visitors and 4,000 of the country's top livestock specimens over the next four days.


The future of farming in this country will depend on our ability to deliver high quality output at realistic prices

Ross Finnie

The Minister for Environment and Rural Development, Ross Finnie, said: "This is an important event for Scotland's agricultural community and I am pleased to see it reinstated this year as a focal point in the farming calendar.

"I have no doubt that it will be highly successful and give everyone a lift after the misery of last year's foot-and-mouth crisis.

"This is an important message for all of us.

"The future of farming in this country will depend on our ability to deliver high quality output at realistic prices."

Business deals

For the farming community it is a chance to show off their wares, do deals, and socialise.

Trade exhibitors are out in force with gleaming machinery and equipment.

Show executives estimate 100m worth of business will be done before it is over.

Highland show cattle
Top livestock specimens are on show

For the non-farming public, attractions include the flower show, the 'Food from Scotland' exhibition and a new 'Countryside Demonstration Area'.

After last year's enforced absence, this year's show is more symbolically important than usual.

This year's event is the 162nd show.

The cancellation last year was the first time since the Second World War that the show had not been staged.

In 1952, the show was held at Kelso without cloven-footed animals due to a foot-and-mouth outbreak.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Willie Johnston reports
"For some the most important thing is just to be here"
See also:

11 Apr 01 | Scotland
29 Mar 01 | Scotland
03 May 01 | Scotland
10 Apr 01 | Scotland
10 Apr 01 | Scotland
09 Apr 01 | Scotland
Links to more Scotland stories are at the foot of the page.


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