Landowners in Scotland have made a last-minute plea to the Scottish government to change its plans to allow farmers to assign their 1991 Agricultural Holdings (Scotland) Act tenancies to a new entrant or farmer progressing through the industry.
Scottish Land & Estates chairman David Johnstone has written to rural affairs minister Richard Lochhead warning that the change would have damaging implications for the future of tenant farming and reduce opportunities for new entrants.
The Land Reform Bill will have its final Stage 3 debate in Holyrood on Wednesday (16 March).
There has been a strong reaction against proposals to reform the ownership of estates and other substantial land holdings in Scotland.
The Scottish government says around half of all the privately-owned land in Scotland is controlled by just 432 people and it has launched proposals which include ending tax relief for shooting estates and forcing the sale of land if owners are blocking economic development.
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