Producers applaud Pig Health Czar idea

UK - Pig producers have so far given an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of a concerted national drive to improve herd health.
calendar icon 30 June 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & White-hall, and with pro-cessors, supermarkets, caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

Pig producers have so far given an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of a concerted national drive to improve herd health.

If the proposed British Pig Health Improvement Programme comes to fruition, it will involve a twelve-year campaign of identifying and stamping out disease in the national herd.

The programme could cost 3millions and will therefore require considerable commitment from both government and producers.

No detailed information is available yet on how it would be financed but the implication is that levy payers would be expected to make an ongoing contribution.

With this in mind, NPA is keen that there should be full consultation and that as many producers as possible make their views known (see Stewart Houston's message of June 18, below).

This is how a British Pig Health Improvement Programme might work...

  • A British pig health council would be created to coordinate, plan and monitor the implementation of the programme. It would report to relevant ministers in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Pig health programmes in the field would be introduced and managed by a Defra-appointed pig health czar - a national pig health coordinator - working through regional pig health development officers.
  • Initially the programme would establish the size of the task ahead by gathering accurate figures on the size and location of the national pig population, and its disease and health status. (At the moment much subclinical pig disease goes undiagnosed.)
  • Studies would be carried out on farms to determine the best way to control and or eradicate endemic diseases. Data from these studies would be used to develop a best-practice framework for producers and vets.
  • Using ZAP as a model, food quality and safety measures would be progressively introduced on farms.
  • A national biosecurity protocol would be introduced together with national protocols for detecting, reporting and responding to imported diseases.
  • Initially control/eradication would be targeted at known disease problems, particularly diseases such as PMWS where currently there is limited scientific understanding.
Source: National Pig Association - 30th June 2003
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