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CO2 shortage ‘unresolved’ for pig industry as abattoirs remain closed

The shortage of carbon dioxide (CO2) was still unresolved for Quality Pork’s farmer-owned abattoir at Brechin.

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CO2 shortage ‘unresolved’ for pig industry

The plant remained unable to process pigs since the last supplies of the gas were used up on June 26.

 

Carbon dioxide was used to stun the pigs and without it the plant, which would normally process 6000 pigs weekly, cannot operate.

 

Stunning

 

While some UK pig and poultry abattoirs have been able to switch to electrical stunning, it was not an option for Brechin.

 

The abattoir was recently refurbished following a major fire.


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Andy McGowan, chief executive of supply group Scottish Pig Producers said: “We are no further forward at the moment.

 

“We have been told that some C02 production has resumed on the continent and even that there have been a couple deliveries to the UK but we still have had no firm commitments.

 

“We have been able to send a proportion of our finished pigs to Ashton which has helped. If we could get going at Brechin soon a good week would help us clear up the backlog.”

 

The Ashton plant in Greater Manchester was run by Tulip, operating partner of the Brechin abattoir.

Supply chain

 

But longer term, Mr McGowan said the supply chain for gas would need to be more robust.

 

CO2 was currently produced as a by-product of ammonium nitrate fertilizer but a number of uncoordinated plant shutdowns led to the shortage across Europe.

 

It can also be produced as a by-product of biogas plants and with a number of these now established in Scotland this could be more reliable source in the future. There was however considerable investment required.

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