“The crux of the issue is, if we don’t recover the cost of production from the sale of the product or get compensated in another way (and quick), there will only be the bones of an industry left with all sorts of legacy problems and thousands of upstream and downstream jobs lost,” says Tipperary pig farmer Michael Monagle.

Pig farmers say that support from the Government so far has been desperately slow and combined schemes will only cover one month’s losses for the average producer and be of miniscule assistance to bigger operators.

“The way the funds are being distributed is unbelievable and discriminating against those who have invested significantly to improve the industry standard – the farmer with 50 sows will get the same support as the man with 500, 1,000 or 2,000 sows,” says Michael.

Michael Monagle.

“Practically every other European country has given significant support to their pig industry, be it in the form of COVID-19 or other payments.

“We have a Department that appears reluctant to explore how impactful support could be sought and a minister who consistently talks about being constrained by Europe,” he says.