New pig carcass rebate rules could boost returns

European Commission regulations relating to carcass rebates may lead to changes to the existing system in the UK.

Abattoirs currently apply hot weight rebates to fresh carcasses to take account of the moisture/weight loss as they cool over a 24 hour period.

This regulation requires that carcasses weighed within 45 minutes of slaughter are reduced by 2% in weight.

At the time this Brussels regulation was first introduced UK abattoirs obtained a derogation which included a fixed rebate system for finished pigs.

Carcass Weight Fixed Rebate
Up to 56kg 


56.5kg to 74.5kg  1.5kg
75kg and over  2kg

A switch from the fixed rebate system to the EU 2% reduction will provide benefits for producers selling pigs above 56.5kg.

For example, a 75kg pig on the 2% system will suffer a 1.5kg weight rebate compared with a fixed rate of 2kg.

The introduction of the proposed 2% rebate will be debated by the National Pig Association at their September 22 producer group meeting. 

The meeting will also consider variations between methods of dressing pig carcasses.

The EC method involves the exclusion of flare-fat, kidney and diaphragm whereas those plants still operating the UK spec retain them with the carcass for weighing purposes.

 Co-efficients have been calculated to allow for the inclusion of flare-fat, kidney and diaphragm as follows:

Carcass Weight Weight Reduction
Up to 56kg  0.7kg
56.5kg to 74.5kg  1.1kg
75kg and over  1.6kg

The NPA is looking at updating these co-efficients and also to address concerns over abattoir practises of “rounding down” weights.

NPA producer group member Jim Dewhurst has attacked the practise of having weights rounded down to the nearest 0.5kg.

He claims this distorts price accuracy and is unfair.