Pig farmers ‘victimised’ by militant dockers
‘DOCKERS ‘black’ pigs’ was the dramatic front page headline in the
this week 50 years ago.
The term ‘blacking’ referred to dockers refusing to handle certain goods and on this occasion they were refusing to handle live pig consignments to Britain.
“The dispute between workers and management had nothing to do with farmers who were innocent par ties to the dispute,” stated the National Farmers’ Association (NFA).
It estimated the cost of the ‘blacking’ at £90,000 and warned that the figure would double if farmers were forced to hold their pigs for another couple of weeks. “There are now more than 60,000 marketable pigs on Irish farms and no outlets for them.
“Should the strike continue, the number was likely to increase to around 80,000.”
Meanwhile, north of the border, precautions were being ramped up by the Stormont government against the threat of the British outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease spreading across the Irish Sea. Imports from Britain were banned and farmers were warned against attending livestock markets in Britain. “The Northern Ireland livestock industr y with its wonderful diseasefree record is at stake,” said the Nor th’s chief veterinar y of ficer.