British pig industry health and welfare council

by 5m Editor
14 May 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Dedicated people from across the livestock and meat industry have agreed to join the newly created Health and Welfare Council. The council is a key step in the development of the national Pig Health and Welfare Strategy launched by the British Pig Executive at the end of last year.

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NPA is active on members' behalf in Brussels & Whitehall, and with processors, supermarkets & caterers – fighting for the growth and pros-perity of the UK pig industry.

BPEX chairman Stewart Houston said: "This is a very important step for the British pig industry. An improvement in the health and welfare of the national herd will translate into improved competitiveness which will benefit all and is one of the major initiatives to come from the BPEX Road to Recovery strategy. We are very fortunate in the calibre of those who have agreed to become members of the council and who are willing to give up their time for the benefit of the industry."

One of the first tasks facing the council will be the implementation of a national health monitoring scheme in abattoirs based on the Scottish Wholesome Pigs initiative.

The scheme will assess, using lesion scores, key pig health traits in assured British pig abattoirs on a quarterly or biannual basis. Results will be sent to all assured producers, their vets and abattoirs within 48 hours of collection. The conditions to be recorded are: Enzootic pneumonia, Peritonitis, Pleuropnemonia-like ('APP-like') Lesions, milk spot liver, Pleurisy, Hepatic scarring, Pericarditis, Papular dermatitis, Pyaemia and tail-biting.

The aim of this is to improve the health of the national pig herd and at the same time cut production costs and improve profitability. One pig farmer who tackled his herd health problems saw a dramatic fall in his costs of production - as much as 15p per kilo.

It is thought a substantial proportion of sub-clinical pig disease goes undiagnosed and this contributes to reducing the health status of the herd nationally.

Source: National Pig Association - 14th May 2004

5m Editor