DOCTORS have called for action to protect girls at risk of female genital mutilation in Scotland.

They say health workers and other professionals should be trained to recognise when girls and young women are at risk of the illegal practise, known as FGM.

The call came at the annual conference of Scottish GPs, which is being held in Clydebank.

Dr Patricia Moultrie, a GP in Glasgow, said: "Not only are girls and young women living in Scotland being subject to FGM, there is also concern that girls are being brought to Scotland for FGM because of perceived lower awareness of this abuse in Scotland.

"It is essential that health professionals, social workers, teachers and police are trained to recognise when girls are at risk."

Dr Alan McDevitt, Chairman of the BMA's Scottish GP Committee, said medics also needed to be trained in how to meet the needs of those who had suffered FGM.

He added: "If a child is identified as being at risk of female genital mutilation, urgent action must be taken to safeguard the child. Their welfare is paramount."