21 November 2000
Probe into NI pig price gap
By FWi staff
NORTHERN Ireland farmers leaders have welcomed a study to investigate why they receive around 10 less per pig than mainland producers.
On Tuesday (21 November) agriculture minister Brid Rogers announced research to see if there is a big difference in carcass conformation between Northern Ireland and British pigs.
The Ulster Farmers Union said it hoped the 60,000 study would provide a satisfactory explanation for the discrepancy and resolve the issue.
Charlie Pogue, chairman of the Unions central pigs committee said the current differential was “wholly unacceptable”.
He said the union contested suggestions that deficiencies in conformation may explain the price gap.
“Even if differences do exist they are unlikely to be severe enough to merit the massive difference in prices,” he insisted.
He added: “Should the study identify any necessary changes in carcass conformation, our producers will be happy to act quickly to rectify the situation.”
The UFU also welcomed the announcement of 150,000 to facilitate the provision of supplies of Aujeszkys Disease vaccine to pig farmers.
Funding for both these projects comes from 1 million in new assistance for farmers announced this week by Ms Rodgers.
It will also be used to pay for initiatives in farm waste management, beef quality and organic farming.