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Crofting Cattle Improvement Scheme (Bull Hire Scheme)

The Crofting Cattle Improvement Scheme, often referred to as the ‘commission bull hire scheme’ is open to groups of at least two crofters within the crofting areas, providing high health bulls in areas where ownership and commercial hiring are uneconomic.

The Scottish Government Bull Stud at Knocknagael manages the bulls that support the scheme.

The benefits of co-operating with neighbours with this scheme include

  • Reduced cost per cow served
  • High Health bulls are provided
  • Reduced risk, as the bull stud will provide a replacement if the bull has an accident or stops working

What steps to we need to take if we want to participate?

  • The group should decide who will be the custodian of the bull (NB the custodian must be under 70 years of age) and ensure they know all the duties involved. (See guidance notes below.)
  • The group should decide which cattle keepers are going to use the bull and how the fees are going to be split and collected.
  • The group should decide what, if any, conditions of cow health i.e. in a health scheme need to be met to be able to use the bull.
  • The group should decide if they will return the bull in the autumn or if they wish to overwinter it.
  • If they decide they want to overwinter it they need to ensure they have adequate facilities for housing and that it is a sensible economic decision.
  • The group should decide if they want to take out insurance cover for personal accidents. The scheme arranges public liability cover of £2,000,000 and also minimal cover for the custodians under personal accident insurance
  • Consider if worthwhile co-operating with a neighbouring township to allow both a maternal and a terminal bull to be hired every year. This would allow suitable heifers/cows to be selected for different breeding policies.
  • Contact the Farm Manager if you have any queries on 01463 231 261 / 07767 673717 or email

Guidance documents

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