15 September 2000

By Peter Crichton

PROBABLY the only positive sign during a challenging week has been the proposed increase in the rates being paid under the Welfare Slaughter Scheme. Subject to final confirmation, producers will receive 75/head for all 110kg plus pigs with the 95-110kg band attracting a 70/head payment. Lighter pigs from 40-95kg will be paid out at 35/head and under 40kg a total of 15/head.

However, the industry will have to contribute between 5-25/head according to size and this will be raised by means of a producer levy deducted at slaughter outlets.

Final BPEX approval is awaited together with details of how the levy is to be applied. This could be in the form of a new deduction or taken from existing levy income.

Some sectors of the trade are calling for a pence per kg compensation price rather than a per head price within the rigid bans set out. This would allow producers to clear pigs of a variety of different weights to ease their overcrowding problems.