Up to 1,700 jobs could go after Vion announced plans to close its Hall’s of Broxburn site in Scotland - the country’s largest producer of haggis.

The Dutch-owned meat giant said the site was costing it £79,000 a day.

“This is an extremely sad day and one we have strenuously tried to avoid for the past four years, but the huge losses being incurred mean we believe we have no alternative,” said UK chairman Peter Barr.

He said there was significant over-capacity in the UK meat industry and market conditions were “extremely challenging”.

Vion took over the site in 2008 when it acquired Grampian Country Food Group. It is a major processing site for Scottish pork and handles about 8,000 pigs each week.

Vion had subsequently taken “every possible step to secure the future of the business,” including a restructure, heavyweight investment and drafting in new management from across the group, Barr said.

Quality Meat Scotland called the news a “body blow”.

Chairman Jim McLaren said the 90-day redundancy consultation period beginning today (5 July) represented an opportunity “to explore tirelessly all of the possible options for the retention of operations”.

QMS would work with Vion and the Scottish Government to ensure the future of the pork industry in Scotland, he added.