THE head of Scotland’s biggest farmers union has said he will not be calling for farmers to join EU-wide protests.

Protests have erupted across Europe in opposition to the EU’s climate change measures and associated bureaucracy, although specific grievances vary from country to country.

Earlier this week, the EU agreed to delay requirements for farmers to keep 4% of their arable land free from crop production in order to continue receiving subsidies.

The measures, which are part of a bid to help soil health and biodiversity, have now been delayed until 2025.

However, a protest in Brussels on Thursday criticised the “costly” bureaucracy associated with environmental regulations and called for an end to free trade agreements between the trading bloc and third countries.

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Energy costs and falling food prices also contributed to the protest, which saw fires started outside the European Parliament as well as eggs thrown at the building.

Despite Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton sharing news of Scottish farmers joining the protests – shared by right-wing journalist Peter Imaneulsen who has previously been accused of denying the Holocaust – the head of the National Farmers Union of Scotland said he would not be calling on Scottish farmers to take part.

Speaking to the Scottish Farmer, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy said it was “paramount” that farmers maintain the support of consumers.

He said: “The specific issues that have ignited large scale protests from farmers across Europe are not the same issues as we have here in Scotland.

“Rising red diesel taxation, extreme nitrogen regulations, policies requiring organic production to increase to 25%, and a proposed 30% set aside requirement for ecological schemes are what have understandably driven this action.

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"These protests are also in advance of European elections this summer.

“NFU Scotland is a membership organisation that has on several occasions in its 111-year history, led public protests on behalf of farmers and crofters, most recently 14 months ago when hundreds of members gathered outside Holyrood at our #FoodNeedsAFarmer rally.

“This rally, focussed on food security, successfully kept the public on side and drew the attention of so many MSPs to the need for food production to be front and centre of the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill.

“It is paramount that we maintain a strong influential position with government and retain the confidence and support of our consumers.”

It comes ahead of NFU Scotland’s AGM next week, where First Minister Humza Yousaf is due to address delegates.

Last month, more than 70 farmers turned out to a meeting in the Cairngorms National Park with a "show of concern" tractor run.

They claimed they were not properly consulted on the reintroduction of beavers into the area. A further protest took place in Ballater on January 22.