By Peter Crichton

A GROWING number of Eastern region pig farmers are refusing to allow MAFF vets on to their units for blood testing and other CSF tracing work without being paid for their time at commercial values for assisting in these procedures.

They claim that compensation should be paid at similar rates to contractors involved in CSF work, where rates as high as 15/hour are being met by MAFF.

Trade sources report that this “work to rule” approach may spread as it is one of the only weapons that producers have left to press their claim for a fair price for welfare-scheme pigs.

In the marketplace, pig prices remain static although live auction prices improved by 2p/kg towards the end of the week due to a slight shortage of spot pigs in the system.

The GB AESA slipped a touch to stand at 100.79p/kg and cull sow returns are still hovering between 67p and 70p/kg deadweight.

In Europe the Dutch AEX futures market remained largely unchanged with positions traded in the 76p to 73p/kg range over the next four months.

The effects of the financial crisis facing the industry came with the announcement this week that the liquidators had been called in to the breeding company Garland 2000.

This follows close on the heels of similar problems with Newsham Hybrids in Yorkshire a week earlier.