A £250,000 funding package of support for farmers affected by the recent severe weather is “necessary and appropriate”, the Rural Economy Secretary has said.

The Scottish Government said the funding would help farmers offset the cost of retrieving fallen livestock after the bad weather caused a rise in the number of sheep and cattle deaths.

The package also includes action to address feed and fodder shortages and to provide more practical and emotional support to farmers and their families whose wellbeing might be suffering following long days and nights in harsh conditions.

Fergus Ewing told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that the funding is “necessary and appropriate”.

He said: “I think [the farmers] are a deserving case, they are providing the food that we eat and they are looking after our countryside.”