Pig farm­ers ‘vic­timised’ by mil­i­tant dock­ers

Irish Independent - Farming - - RURAL LIFE -

‘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.

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