Stark warning from pig expert
Published:  03 April, 2009

A leading member of NFU Scotland (NFUS) has told MSPs that the pig industry is in danger of collapsing if confidence amongst producers fails to improve.

NFUS pigs committee chairman Philip Sleigh, who was giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs and the Environment Committee, issued the dire warning but added all was not lost.

He said: “It is not too late for politicians to alter the course of legislation which is currently being drafted in order to prevent the Scottish pig industry from collapsing. We urged the MSPs to encourage their Westminster counterparts to re-introduce capital allowances for new farm buildings, and to advocate that their colleagues in the European Parliament prevent re-drafted rules on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) from getting out of hand.”

The session was called by the Rural Affairs Committee on the back of the pig industry's plight, which the NFUS claimed has worsened since the Pig Industry Taskforce - established nearly a year ago to consider possible actions to help the industry - published its recommendations in August 2008.

Sleigh added: “Closer to home it is crucial that the review of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) makes it easier for producers to access funding, including for building improvements, which would help pig units become more efficient.

“We learned at the meeting that the Cabinet Secretary, Richard Lochhead, will appear before the Committee later this April in response to today’s session and we shall take the opportunity, following consultation with NFU Scotland members, to reiterate our points, in a formal written document, to MSPs.”

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