Pig table rates set to be scrapped in September

A small but important change is going to be taking place in the pig slaughtering industry from 4 September.

A small but important change is going to be taking place in the pig slaughtering industry from 4 September, when the UK moves into line with the rest of the EU by scrapping the table rebates.

Instead it will be adopting a flat rate 2% rebate, which will have a direct effect on producer carcase weights.

Britain obtained a derogation in the 1980s and continued to use tables which gave slightly different figures according to the slaughter weight of pigs. Now all parties involved have agreed to come into line with the rest of the EU by adopting the flat-rate percentage reduction.

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said: "It is something we have been working on for some time and will bring parity with the rest of the EU. It is a bit of tidying up which was made more relevant by the increase in the weight of slaughter pigs in the UK. It will also make cost and return comparisons easier."

A spokesman for the MLC said pigs were weighed within 45 minutes of slaughter, but when the carcase had been cooled, it lost about 2% of its weight. This varies slightly according to the total weight of the carcase. The increase in the weight of pigs sent for slaughter over the last few years means the 2% reduction is now more appropriate.

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