Pig crisis continues

By FWi Staff

FURTHER restrictions were imposed on pig markets in the east this week following the confirmation of new cases of classical swine fever.

William Frazier was forced to shut down the Aylsham venue, which in a normal week would handle about 600 pigs, due to positive testing for the disease on a local unit.

Aylsham had been closed several weeks ago as a voluntary measure, but this latest development will hit hard, says Mr Frazier. About half the pigs we would normally handle are affected by the latest restrictions.

Im managing to get about 200 pigs off farms and direct to abattoirs further afield which at least is giving some turnover to the business. But its dire.

“I suspect many producers facing a welfare problem will enter stock on to the MAFF scheme. The compensation is not good, but I reckon its probably the best theyll get.

In a separate move auctioneers at Colchester were waiting to hear from local MAFF officials, as FARMERS WEEKLY went to press, if they could welcome pigs into the market again after a five-week absence. Local restrictions were due to be lifted.

If we can re-open then we hope to have about 150 fat pigs in this coming week, about half our normal number. Store pig trade will restart next Friday if we get the all-clear, suggests auctioneer Graham Ellis.

Despite shortages, pig prices have remained relatively unchanged. Throughout late August slaughter numbers were about 240,000/week, according to MAFF (compared with 274,000 for the same period last year).

The adjusted eurospec average is still hovering around 102p/kg deadweight, up 18.5p/kg on last year.

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