Fire victim receives industry support
Published:  17 August, 2017

A pig processing plant has been receiving support from the industry after it burnt down in the early hours of Saturday, 5 August. 

As a result of the extensive damage caused, the QPL Brechin plant has been unable to run. In response, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has been working closely alongside representatives of Tulip, Scottish Pig Producers (SPP) and Scotlean, firms that collaboratively run the abattoir.

“Clearly this is a blow for the Scottish pig industry and it is particularly galling that this damage has occurred soon after the opening of the increased capacity at the site, following a period of significant investment,” commented Jim McLaren, chairman for QMS.

“The processing capacity at Brechin accounts for around two-thirds of the pigs slaughtered in Scotland and QMS is keen to support the Scottish pig and pork industry to limit the impact of the temporary closure of this abattoir, including any welfare implications.”

After consulting with the involved companies, the Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and wider representatives from the industry, QMS has granted a temporary derogation that will allow eligible pigs for the Specially Selected Pork brand to be slaughtered at an abattoir run by Tulip at Ashton, instead of Brechin.

This has been made possible following an inspection at Tulip’s Ashton processing plant carried out by QMS, SPCA and QMS’ quality assurance certification provider, Acoura. This will be subject to review on a weekly basis.

“QMS has very carefully considered the wider implications of this decision and also sought advice relating to animal welfare from the Scottish SPCA,” added McLaren.

“The fire at the QPL premises at Brechin – which is responsible for over 60% of the Scottish pig slaughter capacity – has created an exceptional set of circumstances. Our decision to grant a temporary derogation reflects that exceptional situation and has been taken in the best interests of the Scottish pig industry and the Specially Selected Pork brand.”