The sheep farm was placed under monitoring requirements imposed under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985, following the incident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former USSR (now Ukraine). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant released large quantities of radioactivity into the atmosphere. Some of this radioactivity was deposited on upland areas of the United Kingdom (UK) where sheep are farmed. To protect consumers, statutory restrictions were placed on the movement, sale and supply of sheep from the affected areas.
During 1987, raised levels of radioactivity were detected in new lambs leading to new restrictions being placed on sheep farms across the UK, including 73 areas in central and south-west Scotland. A monitoring technique was developed that enabled live sheep to be monitored and only moved from the restricted areas if radioactivity levels were acceptable.
Since the early 1990s, an annual post-Chernobyl sheep monitoring program has been carried out on restricted areas in Scotland. Over time, radioactivity levels have continued to decline, and, as of February 2010, only two areas in Scotland remained under restrictions. Of these, one area has been taken out of agricultural use, so is no longer being used to farm sheep, and the other area was removed from restrictions on June 21. Reprinted from Food and Drink Digital