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Policy Makers Learn About Pigs

by 5m Editor
29 April 2008, at 1:10pm

UK - Representatives from Environment Agency, Defra, Health and Safety Executive, Lantra and the RSPCA, along with a number of individuals who work in the industry were invited to an 'Introduction to the Pig Industry' day at Writtle College recently.

The event proved invaluable in bringing together those working at grass roots level and those involved in all aspects of policy making.

It also revealed an acute lack of understanding about the real state of the pig industry by some parties and highlighted the impact of different policies on production and how, in extreme circumstances, they can contradict each other.

BPEX hosted an information day for people working in environment, safety, welfare and training sector. It provided some experience of the challenges faced by the UK industry.

The day started with an overview of industry terms and how production works, followed by a presentation on the financial aspects of pig production including costs, returns, risks and their management.

This was followed by an outline on legislative issues affecting the industry such as environment, health and welfare, employment, health and safety and biosecurity.

The afternoon gave everyone the chance to tour the college pig unit and see the practical side of pig production.

Proactive Developments

The day was rounded off with a look at the proactive approach the industry was taking to help itself in terms of environmental strategies, staff development and knowledge transfer.

Defra Cost Sharing Policy Advisor Stephen Plant said: "It's easy for policy makers to sit in their ivory towers in London. The day gave a real hands-on experience and a better understanding of the totality of the industry. It also highlighted the benefits of partnership working. These kind of events are invaluable."

Environment Agency Technical Advisor Alison Frogley commented:
"The day gave a real feel for the industry and how it works. We have about 200 staff nationally going out on farm with a core team of 25 where we target our training. I would recommend they attend meetings like this as it gives a good insight into how the industry works and raises awareness of the current difficulties facing producers. Agencies must be prepared to take these on board when talking to farmers."

Lantra Project Manager Nanette Lane added: "I found the Continuous Professional Development area of the day really useful on how standards and qualifications are changing within the industry and how it affects our programme of activities. The whole day gave a useful insight into the industry and some hands-on experience."

Further events like this one will be taking place across the country. To register your interest contact [email protected]

5m Editor