Virus pig-movement restrictions under review


By Peter Crichton

RESPONSIBILITY for issuing longer-distance movement and other non-slaughter licences could be switched from Defra to local trading standards departments.

Although some local authorities doubt they will have the resources to cope with this extra workload, the move would allow Defra to concentrate on handling situations in “at risk” areas.

A sharp hike in feed prices, of 20/t in a year, will add 3 per pig to farmers variable costs.

Weaner producers are also seeing their margins under pressure. The latest 30kg weaner averages published by the Meat and Livestock Commission have crashed to 28.80 per pig.

The drop is exaggerated by breeders having to move stock by the 31 August, the closing date for the Pig Outgoers Scheme.

But the industry feels that by mid-September there should be a recovery in the finished and weaner pig sectors.

This forecast is based on falling UK numbers and higher import prices due to movements in the EU currency and pig markets.

The UK is still importing large volumes of pigmeat, but with Dutch futures rising in value this should put a base into the home market.

  • Peter Crichton is a Suffolk-based pig farmer offering independent valuation and consultancy services to the UK pig industry
  • Pig price trends

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