Defra pig schemes run out of cash

By Olivia Cooper

DEFRAs pig-industry schemes – aimed at helping pig producers stay in production, or get out of the business – have run out of cash.

Junior Defra minister Lord Whitty told the National Pig Association that the 66 million allocated to the pig “Ongoers” and “Outgoers” schemes has been used up.

Earlier, there were reports of poor uptake for the Ongoers scheme.

“Apparently a large number of people applied quite late, so the figures we had been given throughout the scheme were not indicative of the total uptake,” says the NPAs Stewart Houston.

“We have asked Defra for a statement of account so we can see exactly where the money has gone.”

He is unsure whether foot-and-mouth costs and the 4m repayable loan to the pig industry for swine fever had been mistakenly included in Defras calculations.

“We will not be able to decide where any surplus money will be spent until we know how much is actually left.

“But it is very unlikely to go into a second Pig Ongoers scheme,” he adds.

Alternative projects include market development for cull sows, research into PMWS and PDNS, and work to regenerate the UK market after foot-and-mouth, like promoting and labelling British meat.

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