23 May 1997

Reappraise MLC spend

PRIORITIES for Meat and Livestock Commission producer levy spending should be reappraised with some of the cash now earmarked for promotion switched to research.

Speaking at the fair, Glos-based pig producer and member of the BPAs technical and scientific committee, Fraser Hart, said 65p a pig was allocated to promoting pigmeat. By contrast only 6p a pig was made available for research which provides only £0.8m a year.

"Much of the work carried out then focuses on meat quality. This leaves fundamental issues such as summer infertility, which depresses performance annually, under-investigated," said Mr Hart.

He said that because summer infertility is multi-factorial a whole range of studies should be conducted. This would require a greater co-operation, co-ordination and core funding to make it cost-effective.

Glos producer David Graham called for a separate MLC fund to support core research.

"This could be established using an extra 5p a pig to take the total spend to 11p a pig and administered through the MLCs existing and effective administration," said Mr Graham. &#42