Kilt-wearers in Scotland, because of new EU rules, will have to prove that they have a legal sporran... This means having a license for older sporrans made from a number of endangered species, including otter and badger. The legislation applies to animals killed after 1994. Violators risk a $10,000 or six months in jail
"I have been inundated with calls from customers worried they are now breaking the law," said Malcolm Scott of Edinburgh sporran makers William Scott & Sons. "I haven‘t seen an otter sporran in 40 years and we stopped using badger about 30 years ago. What they really should be concentrating on is foreign-made sporrans, which are killing this traditional industry."The Sporran is the traditional pouch worn as much for decorative purposes as to keep the wearer from "getting the wind up their skirts", so to speak. Traditionally, sporrans were made from badger or otter skins.
"We are talking about protecting species such as badger and otter. Anyone who has a sporran made of these animals or a stuffed animal which they perhaps inherited should make sure they have proof of where it came from."Meanwhile, also on the sporran front, Scottish sporran manufacturers are up in arms over the decision to award the contract to supply 5000 sporrans for the Royal Regiment of Scotland. (a contract worth £1.4 million) to a company in Birmingham which, in turn subcontracted the order to a firm in Perth. A leading Scottish company was apparently denied a chance to bid on the contract.
Curiouser and curiouser!
After the "suit-counter-suit" over the contracts to produce sporrans, mentioned above, the supply of sporrans trickled to a halt. And as Defence analyst Julian Cook said: "Scotland's military is effectively paralysed without sporrans.... Anyone who has seen Carry on up the Khyber will know that the sporran in an integral part of the Scottish soldier's armoury."
The Dutch Navy seized a consignment of 25,000 Scottish infantry sporrans from a Portuguese-flagged ship carrying the Taiwanese-made sporrans 30 miles off the coast of Denmark. [Honestly! You couldn't make stuff like this up!]
The sporrans are now being held in the basement of the Dutch Military Intelligence HQ in the Hague.
A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said: "We're prepared for the worst. These people defile tulips as a matter of course. Imagine what they could do to a defenseless sporran".
This promises to be as dicey a crisis as the threat of WMDs in Iraq....