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Pig producers’ hardship support scheme to be extended


By David Porter

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A scheme which was set up to provide financial support to pig producers affected by the temporary closure of the abattoir at Brechin last year, and subsequent suspension of its China export licence, is to be extended.

The closure of the Quality Pig Processors (QPP) plant at Brechin resulted in a backlog in pigs waiting for slaughter and the loss of their licence to export pork to China – a lucrative market for the sector.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon

As the sector waits for export restrictions to be lifted, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon has announced an extension to the scheme with funding support of more than £680,000.

Ms Gougeon said: “The Covid-related closure of Brechin abattoir last year and the subsequent loss of the plant’s export licence to China has continued to have a negative impact on pig farmers, during already unprecedented challenging times for the farming industry.

“The Pig Producers’ Hardship Scheme made available last summer delivered essential funding to eligible producers during this difficult period and I am pleased to announce that we are extending this scheme, which underlines our continuous support for our livestock sector.

“The scheme will open early this year, when a further announcement will be made providing guidance for applications. I would encourage all eligible producers to submit their applications and benefit from this additional financial support.”

Aberdeenshire MSP Gillian Martin said: "I am very glad to see this extension to the scheme.

"I have been lobbying hard on behalf of my pig farming constituents on this issue.

"They've been hit hard by a range of factors, including Brexit, labour shortages, increased fuel costs and local abattoir issues."

Background

The £715,000 Pig Producers Hardship Support Scheme made available in August delivered essential funding to eligible pig producers who supplied the QPP between 8 February and 31 March this year.


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