On March 26, Industry leaders meet at No 10 Downing Street to discuss the future of UK agriculture. In Dec 1997 the UK pig industry stood at 805,000 breeding sows. Following the parliamentary decision to ban stalls and tethers (unique to the UK), the imposition of a BSE Tax of £5.26 on each UK pig, a strong currency and ruthless buying pressure from supermarkets, it is anticipated that there will be less than 300,000 sows at the year end.
The industry will not return and this country must rely on cheap, dubious imports for its future supplies.
The UK pig industry is not alone and many other sectors of UK agriculture are heading for the exit.
If people think it is wise to rely on cheap imports, my reply is HONEY. History will judge our leaders as they meet in Downing Street, but I suspect that they will be likened to the foolish virgins who allowed their lamps to run dry when they were most needed.