A Pigging Dilemma

A light-hearted view on the nonsense of agricultural grants and Government bureaucracy!

Dear Secretary of State

My friend, who is currently farming, recently received a cheque for £3000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the ‘not rearing pigs’ business.

IPiggy 2n your opinion, what is the best kind of farm on which not to rear pigs, and what is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the Common Agricultural Policy.

I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these? As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this? My friend is very satisfied with this business. He had been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the most he ever made on them was £1422 in 1973. That is, until this year… when he received a cheque for not rearing any.

Piggy 1If I get £3000 for not rearing fifty pigs, will I get £6000 for not rearing a hundred? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, restricting the business to about 4000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to about 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4m from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gas?  Another point: these pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear?

I am also considering the ‘not milking cows’ business, so please send any information you have on that too. In view of the above, you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits.

I shall, of course, be voting for your party at the next general election!

Yours truly

A FARMER

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