'It's about how good you want to be.'

UK - The new man at the helm of the Pig Veterinary Society is Derek Armstrong. Derek, 48, took over from Jill Thomson, at the Spring Meeting of the PVS, in Edinburgh.
calendar icon 2 July 2008
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"It's not about how good you are, it's about how good you want to be."
Derek Armstrong, President Pig Veterinary Society

Derek qualified in Dublin in 1983 and gained a wealth of experience in veterinary research and practice in Ireland and New Zealand before joining the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) in 1998. He is currently the BPEX advisor on veterinary matters.

He thanked outgoing President Jill Thomson for all her hard work in a difficult year for the industry, marked by foot-and-mouth disease and soaring feed costs. "It is good to see that her call for a new initiative, focused on eradicating common production diseases is now being seriously taken up by the industry. This initiative will continue to be a key priority for PVS in the coming year."

Derek has taken Paul Arden's advice as the theme for his year in office - "It's not about how good you are, it's about how good you want to be." "The pig industry is in crisis and PVS members have a key role to play in turning things around. Vets are trusted advisors at farm level and better health to improve performance is vital part in reducing costs of production. Farm assurance has shown us how good we are in looking after pigs but vets must help farmers realise the opportunities to improve pig health and performance."

"Welfare remains important to consumers and the retail sector needs to recognise this by rewarding producers. "The BPEX analysis of foreign imports clearly shows that there simply isn't enough pigmeat produced to UK specifications in other countries to meet the volume that is imported here." PVS believes consumers who obviously value the high standards of care for British pigs would welcome a clear "Welfare-of-origin-labelling" system.

Derek looks forward to working over the next 12 months with Senior Vice President Dr. Jill Thomson, SAC Edinburgh, Vice-president, Peter Bown, George Veterinary Group and Junior Vice President Nigel Woolfenden, Bishopton Veterinary Group to deliver positive benefits to pigs and their farmers and vets.

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