Covid-19 outbreak: Brechin abattoir closure threatens Scotland’s pig sector

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A COVID-19 outbreak at Scotland’s only pig abattoir has left producers with a backlog of stock, quickly diminishing in value as the plant closes its doors for two weeks.

Quality Pork Limited, in Brechin, took the decision to close its doors for a fortnight on Saturday, January 23, after 19 of its staff tested positive for the virus.

A company statement said: “The decision has been made as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on our workforce and the high level of absenteeism at the site which has made maintaining safe operations extremely difficult.

Andy McGowan of the Scottish Pig Producers told The SF that the situation is ‘in hand’, and that they are working closely with farmers to source additional accommodation for the pigs. However, there is concern that some pigs could become too heavy and fall out of specification.

“We can can hold pigs in an appropriate facility for a longer period, but the challenge will be getting out of specification commercially, so the economic hit could rise week by week,” Mr McGowan explained.

 

 

By Claire Taylor / Scottish Farmer

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