Sunday 01 July 2012
Pig farming problems
Declines in hog slaughter quotas were forcing distributors to resort to imported pork when supplying butchers, a Labour Party spokesman said.
Slaughter quotas fell from a high of 2,400 pigs a week in 2004 to 1,400 per week today, PL agriculture spokesman Anthony Agius Decelis said.
According to TimesofMalta.com, he blamed “rushed and poorly planned” government policies for the difficulties, saying pig farmers had been forced to slaughter sows usually used for reproductive purposes.
As a result, even the 1,400-per-week quota was not being reached, he said, with fewer than 1,000 pigs being slaughtered weekly.
Lack of planning could cause irreparable damage to the production and consumption of fresh local pork, he warned.
He laid the blame squarely at the feet of Rural Affairs Minister George Pullicino, accusing him of washing his hands of any responsibility by saying pork production was a commercial activity.
Mr Agius Decelis noted that pig farmers were already being squeezed by higher overheads, with electricity, water, grain and fuel prices all affecting profit margins.
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