Livestock transporters at Brechin abattoir have had their fortnightly driving limit raised to 103 hours on a temporary relaxation basis.
The Scottish government prompted the call after Quality Pork Ltd’s Brechin site shot up in flames following a suspected arson attack on August 4, forcing more than 6,000 pigs to be diverted to the Tulip UK plant in Ashton-under-Lyme, near Manchester.
Pigs are still being sent to the Manchester unit to work with demand and keep the supply chain moving.
Fergus Ewing, cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, said: “The impact of this incident means the number of pigs being moved weekly from Scotland to England will increase from 7,000 to around 12,000.
“With no other large abattoirs in Scotland, the only option left is to transport the livestock to facilities in the north of England.
“This will still be a challenge for the industry, given the limited pool of authorised drivers and trucks, but we stand ready to offer further assistance where we can.”
Mr Ewing said the Scottish government will be exploring opportunities going forward to boost resilience in the pig processing sector and help implement a better long-term solution.
The boost in drivers hours will affect livestock transporters carrying live pigs from Scotland to England, who hold a Long Journey Transporter authorisation (Type 2), and drivers with a Certificate of Professional Competence specifically for pigs.
The relaxation will run from August 21 to September 17.