Pigs to be slaughtered at Tulip Ashton plant following Brechin fire
21st Aug 2017 / By Alistair Driver
Pigs eligible for Scotland's Specially Selected Pork brand, which would have been slaughtered at Brechin, are be slaughtered at Tulip's Ashton abattoir.
The £10 million Brechin abattoir (pictured QPL's Roderic Bruce and Tulip's Andrews Saunders at the plant) operated between Tulip Ltd, Scottish Pig Producers and Scotlean, is currently closed due a fire that caused extensive damage earlier this month.
Brechin is responsible for over 60% of Scottish pig production and, following consultation with the companies involved, the Scottish SPCA and wider industry representatives, Quality Meat Scotland has decided to grant a temporary derogation.
"QMS is keen to support the Scottish pig and pork industry to limit the impact of the temporary closure of this abattoir, including any animal welfare implications,” QMS chairman Jim McLaren said.
Driver rule change
The government has responded by agreeing to a temporary relaxation of EU drivers' hour rules in response to the unique circumstances caused by the fire.
The 'temporary and limited emergency relaxation of the rules for drivers involved in the transport of live pigs from farms in Scotland to abattoirs in England comes into force today, Monday August 21. It will run until Sunday September 17.
It raises the fortnightly driving limit from 90 hours to 103 hours, with all other requirements remaining unchanged and continuing to be 'rigorously enforced'. Drivers must note on the back of their tachograph charts or printouts the reasons why they are exceeding the normally permitted limits.
The practical implementation of the temporary relaxation should be through agreement between employers and employees and/or driver representatives, the Department of Transport said.
The rule change will apply only to livestock transporters holding a Long Journey Transporter authorisation (Type 2) and drivers holding a Certificate of Professional Competence specifically for pigs and who are involved in the delivery of live pigs from Scottish farms to abattoirs in England. The department said it reserves the right to withdraw the relaxation earlier if circumstances change.
The abattoir in Brechin sustained extensive damage after a fire during the early hours of Saturday, August 5. There were no personnel or livestock on site at the time. The cause of the fire is being investigated by the police and the facility is set to remain closed for some time.