Plight of pig industry in Cavan raised by council

Councillors have weighed in with support for the embattled pig industry, saying that livelihoods across Cavan could be wiped out if demands for a €100m injection of financial support go ignored.

Fine Gael’s Winston Bennett described funding worth €7m for the country’s beleaguered pig producers as akin to taking a single “smartie” out of the packet, and “ridiculous” given the scale of the crisis facing the sector.

Speaking at the April meeting of Cavan County Council, Cllr Bennett said if the pig industry were to fall, the impact would be catastrophic on this region in particular.

He said that farmers are being hit by a series of “unprecedented challenges” due to a combination of low pigmeat prices and extraordinarily high input costs. “It needs to be €100 million if it’s to carry them over. If the pig farmers go, they’ll take the millers with them as well.”

Cllr Bennett’s motion was supported by fellow party colleagues TP O’Reilly and Trevor Smith.

Cllr O’Reilly said that farmers are being paid €1.60 per kilo at present, where as the production costs were nearer €2.20 per kilo.

The situation he said was verging on “unmanageable”, and urged the government and Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue, to intervene.


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