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'Critical friends' crucial to helping British pig farmers meet consumer expectations

The National Pig Association is calling on all members to adopt the best practice at all times to counteract propaganda by anti-meat campaigners.


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The NPA is distributing posters reminding pig unit staff of end-of-day routines
The NPA is distributing posters reminding pig unit staff of end-of-day routines

The National Pig Association (NPA) is advising members to invite non-farming acquaintances to look round their pig farms as a fresh pair of eyes, or as ’critical friends’.

 

This idea came as the association is urging its members to adopt best practice at all times in order to counteract an orchestrated wave of propaganda by anti-meat campaigners.

 

High-welfare

 

Zoe Davies, NPA chief executive said: "The vast majority of British pig farmers strive to achieve best-practice at all times and this has earned them a global reputation for high-welfare animal husbandry.

 

“But we are always listening to the evolving expectations of our customers and we aim to meet those expectations through a policy of continual improvement.”

 

The NPA is currently distributing posters to all its members, reminding pig unit staff of crucial end-of day routines.

 


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End-of-day routines

  • Check all animals have sufficient bedding for the night.
  • Check whether any animals need special treatment.
  • Check there is no damage that could cause injuries during the night.
  • Never go home until any welfare issues have been resolved.
  • Ensure all medicines are under lock and key.

While also operating a Confidential Reporting Service for farm staff and visitors to report any shortcomings to a confidential hotline, the NPA is also urging members to fit infrared security cameras.

 

This is to collect evidence for private prosecutions against activists who break into pig units, and in the hope other livestock sectors will follow suit.

 

Concern

 

NPA chairman, Richard Lister said: "Tampering with doors and windows is unwelcome, but our real concern is the risk of introducing disease to high-health pig units, where a subsequent health break-down can cost thousands of pounds to remedy.

 

"It is our view that anti-meat campaigners who try and gain access to our buildings at night are trying to influence local planners to refuse permission for new pig units.

 

"But if that is their goal, they are being very short-sighted, because it just means more pork and pork products on supermarket shelves will be imported, much of it from countries with lower welfare standards.

 

"Our customers want to know when they buy British pork they are buying the highest farming standards in the world — and that’s what we aim to deliver.”

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