The extended Pig Hardship Scheme for Scottish farmers impacted by the temporary closure of Brechin abattoir last year due to Covid-19 has opened for applications today, Tuesday, February 1.

The amount granted to an undertaking will be calculated on a case by case basis, based on the number of pigs processed through the QPP plant at Brechin between April 1 and September 30, 2021.

The deadline for application forms – available of the Scottish government’s website – is February 20, 2022.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland is encouraging its eligible members to make use of the scheme.

“The opening of the Extended Pig Hardship Scheme will be welcome news to our members, and I encourage all those who are eligible to apply before the February 20,” said Jamie Wyllie, NFU Scotland pigs committee chair.

“The extension of the Pig Producers’ Hardship Support Scheme is something that the Union pushed to secure and will go some way to alleviate the huge losses that Scottish pig producers are currently facing. The industry remains hampered by low staffing levels throughout the supply chain as a direct result of the pandemic.

“These issues caused by Covid-19 come at a time of high input costs on farms, poor prices globally, and a lack of equivalent controls and checks on EU product coming into the market, upsetting market balance and impacting the sector’s ability to ride out the disruption caused by the pandemic on its processing sector.”