DEFRA must help declining UK pig industry

16-01-2009 | |

DEFRA must intervene to help halt the 10-year decline of the pig industry, a cross-party committee of MPs has warned, Farmers Weekly writes.

In a report published by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee it was stated that the industry did not receive its fair share of the retail price when the production costs and investment needs of pig farming were taken into account.

“Although the English pig industry is highly competitive and is well known for being cyclical, the past 10 years have seen a steady decline in its scale and productivity. There has also been an increase in the pigmeat imported into the UK to satisfy consumer demand,” the report stated.

UK pigs cost more to produce than their EU counterparts. This is due to the effects of disease outbreaks, high feed prices, burdensome environmental regulations and the high cost of welfare standards for pigs introduced in 1999, according to the report.

EFRA chairman Michael Jack said: “DEFRA must intervene and help the industry look again at which steps it can take to reduce its costs and increase its productivity to ensure that it has a viable long-term future”.

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