17th August 2017

QMS Moves To Support Pork Industry Following Brechin Fire

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) has been working closely with representatives of Tulip Ltd, Scottish Pig Producers (SSP) and Scotlean following the recent fire at the QPL Brechin pig processing plant.

The Brechin abattoir run by QPL - a collaboration involving Tulip, SPP and Scotlean - is currently unable to operate while repairs to the buildings are undertaken.

“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,” said Jim McLaren, Chairman of 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 animal welfare implications.”

Following consultation with the companies involved, the Scottish SPCA and wider industry representatives, QMS has decided to grant a temporary derogation. This will allow pigs eligible for the Specially Selected Pork brand, which would have been slaughtered at Brechin, to be slaughtered in an abattoir run by Tulip at Ashton.

The derogation has been offered following an inspection visit this week to Tulip’s Ashton processing plant by QMS, the Scottish SPCA and QMS’s quality assurance certification provider, Acoura.

The derogation is subject to stringent conditions and will be reviewed weekly.

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

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