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Projects to Help Pig Industry Move On

by 5m Editor
23 October 2008, at 2:45pm

SCOTLAND - NFU Scotland has welcomed the launch of four new projects valued at 3700,000, intended to provide long-term support to Scotland's pig industry.

The projects were announced yesterday (Wednesday, 22nd October) by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Richard Lochhead.

The projects will form part of the £1 million pig package announced by Scottish Government in August. That package did not reflect the short-term recommendations of the Scottish Pig Sector Task Force set up by the Cabinet Secretary earlier this year to consider actions to ensure a sustainable future for the pig sector. Whilst disappointed at that outcome, NFUS has been focusing on making announcements of the best of the projects.

NFU Scotland’s Pigs Committee Chairman, Robin Traquair, a member of the Task Force said that the legacy of the FMD outbreak in 2007 was severe financial hardship on Scottish pig farms. He said, "The Task Force’s recommendations revolved around putting money into those businesses left producing pigs in Scotland and underpinning the nation’s pig production industry. While the Task Force’s expectations had been raised that this was achievable, we were disappointed that the package announced had not supported its recommendations.

However, we have remained engaged with the Scottish Government in identifying the best use of the funds that were made available to us. These projects announced today can and must deliver long term benefits to the sector to ensure there is a more viable future moving forward.”

Task Force member, Philip Sleigh, attended a meeting last week with Mr Lochhead to discuss the projects. He said that the Scottish industry has much to be proud of. "We have led the line on issues like farm assurance and herd health yet market returns have failed to deliver the long-term profitability needed to halt the decline in the Scottish pig herd. Scottish sow numbers now languish at less than 40,000 head, below the credible mass needed for a viable Scottish sector," he said.

“This package will help Scottish pig producers continue to be industry leaders in the future. The Task Force’s main recommendations revolved around short-term aid. We will now need to look to the market place for that. Those parts of the chain who claim to support Scottish pig production will need to step up to the plate and send a positive message that our pigmeat is wanted if we are to reverse the decline in the Scottish pig herd,” Mr Sleigh added.

5m Editor