5 September 1997

Pig levy threat in wake of axed rendering aid

THE NFU has written to the Office of Fair Trading after reports that some abattoirs have imposed a levy on pig producers to compensate for the governments decision to axe rendering aid to the industry.

Tony Pexton, NFU deputy president, said: "We have had reports that some pig abattoirs have written to producers explaining they will be levying a charge per animal to make up for the reduction in the rendering subsidy."

The union has asked the OFT to monitor the situation and is anxious that other abattoirs do not simply follow suit. Each one should individually consider the impact of the extra cost on their own overheads.

"To penalise pig farmers in this way is unacceptable. The NFU has always argued that any costs such as these should not be met by an identifiable levy, but should be reflected individually by each processor depending on the impact of this extra cost to their own business," Mr Pexton said.

The NFU is urging any pig producers who have been contacted by abattoirs about extra charges to check any written contracts that may make provision for amendments to terms. &#42