Pig facility in pipeline

26 Jun, 2002 10:00 PM

A DECISION on whether a new pig selling facility would replace the one at Midland was still some way off, according to Agriculture Minister Kim Chance.

The WA Meat Industry Authority feasibility report recommended that pigs be included in a multi-species livestock centre at Muchea as a replacement for Midland.

However, in making his recent decision to support the Muchea option, Mr Chance said pigs would not be included due to religious and cultural regions.

Islamic markets required imported meat and livestock to be killed according to Halal conditions, which also precluded livestock coming into contact with pigs.

Mr Chance said a decision on a new pig facility didn't have to be made immediately.

"We have got two years to find a solution," he said.

However, he said if a pig selling facility was built, it would have to be in a region near the metropolitan area. There was also the question of whether any new saleyards would be government or privately operated.

Mr Chance has had initial discussions with the Craig Mostyn Group on pigs being sold at PPC's Linley Valley abattoir.

PPC general manager Ron Penn said while they preferred all pigs to go straight to slaughter, the company was prepared to further discuss the saleyard proposal with Mr Chance.

According to an Agriculture Department independent saleyard report, there was no need to replace the Midland pig selling facilities.

"Existing facilities at other regional centres can cater for the reducing number of pigs expected to be sold through livestock saleyards," the report says.

However, Elders pig section manager John Watkins believed it was necessary to find an alternative to Midland where about 20,000-25,000 pigs were being sold each year.

"It's our alternative way of marketing and people should continue to have a facility they have had for over 100 years," he said.

He said farmers in the Merredin area who brought pigs to Midland would not travel to the Narrogin saleyards.

Mr Watkins believed the PPC location could be acceptable to trade buyers.


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