16th June 2014

Perthshire Pigs Prepare to Meet Visitors at Royal Highland Show

Pigs from a Perthshire farm are preparing for four days of stardom on the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) stand (avenue O, stand 582) at this week’s Royal Highland Show (June 19th – 22nd).

The porcine pair – believed to be the only pigs at the show - are from a farm near Auchterarder. They will join sheep and cattle from other parts of the country in the education area of QMS’s ringside stand which attracts 1000s of visitors over the course of the event.

The pigs come from one of the 100 plus pig farms in Scotland which meet the farm assurance standards required by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) to produce pork which can carry the  Specially Selected Pork Approved by the Scottish SPCA labels.

The four month old pigs, which have a Large White cross Landrace dam and Optimus sire, will join the cattle and sheep on the stand to help improve the public’s understanding of the care and commitment which farmers, and others, take to produce top quality beef, lamb and pork.

“We are keen to ensure consumers, old and young, also have a good understanding of the quality assurance schemes which underpin the industry’s brands – Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork,” said Jennifer Robertson, QMS Health and Education Co-ordinator.

QMS works very closely with the Scottish SPCA, Scotland’s animal welfare charity, on the industry’s assurance schemes and each of the pig farms which are members of the assurance scheme are inspected by the Scottish SPCA.

Scotch Butchers Club member shops are currently running a promotion which raises the profile of the importance of welfare in the production of Specially Selected Pork and includes recipe leaflets and posters for display in their shops.

Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Don Wilson said: “The Scottish SPCA very much values the opportunity to work closely with the farming sector.

“It is also very important that the public has a good understanding of livestock farming and the priority placed on good welfare to ensure consumer confidence in the food sector. It is great to see pigs on well-run farms such as these.”

The cattle on the stand this year are coming from the McNee family’s  Woodend Farm, near Armadale. The cow is a six year old Sim-Luing Cow who will be at the show with her March-born Charolais cross heifer calf.

The ewes and lambs which will appear on the QMS stand are being provided by the Dykes family, stars of this year’s BBC Lambing Live, of South Slipperfield Farm, West Linton, and include some of the lambs which starred on the show, presented by Kate Humble and Adam Henson.

Caption: Farmer Duane Whittaker, pictured with the pigs and Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Don Wilson on the Perthshire farm.

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