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NPA chair highlights waste food message as Jeremy Vine focuses on African swine fever

23rd Apr 2019 / By Alistair Driver

NPA chairman Richard Lister rammed home the message about not feeding waste to pigs as the Jeremy Vine Show focused on African swine fever (ASF) today.

Jeremy VineThe popular Radio 2 show looked at the deteriorating situation in China and the implications for the global pig industry, including the UK.

You can listen to the feature here from approximately 1.40pm.

I was asked to give an overview of what is happening in China, including projections that up to one-third of China’s 200 million-strong pig herd could be lost to the disease, prompting a surge in Chinese export volumes.

Richard was then asked how the situation was affecting UK producers.

“There will be some switching into poultry, but there will be significant demand for pigmeat, which as a UK pig farmer, I hope is passed through to us as producers,” he said.

Lister 6But he added that that so far UK producers, even after six months of very low prices, were yet to see any benefit of the China effect, even though prices were soaring virtually everywhere else in the world.

While the long-term impact on retail prices remains uncertain, he predicted consumers would be prepared to pay more if prices do rise. “A bacon sandwich is what we all dream about,” he said to murmous of agreement from Mr Vine.

The flip side of coin is, of course, the risk of the virus reaching the UK's pigs. Asked if it might already be in the UK, Richard said: “ Potentially. It could be sat in somebody’s fridge and that is why we have got to do absolutely everything in our power to keep our biosecurity up.

“The number one priority is keeping it out. But if it is here already, which it potentially could be, we don’t want to do anything stupid in terms of discarding food waste irresponsibly.”

He highlighted the work the NPA and others are doing to stress to pet pig keepers and smallholders the importance of not feeding any food waste to pigs. The practice, which is blamed for causing the devastating 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak, is both ‘illegal and highly irresponsible’, he added.

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