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NPA chief exec urges UK pig sector to embrace its diversity

3rd Jan 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The UK pig sector should use its diversity to its advantage to gain a competitive edge in the global markets as a new post-Brexit world takes shape, according to NPA chief executive Zoe Davies.

ZoeCommenting on the Pig World website as part of its review of 2016 and look forward to 2017, Zoe said her biggest hope for this year was that UK pig producers will be profitable and will have the confidence to re-invest in their businesses.

She said: “Brexit has caused much uncertainty, but there will also be opportunities for people if they are willing to take them and NPA will play a key role in identifying those and helping people to take advantage where they can.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the pig business will get increasingly tough, consolidated and challenging, but we have the most diverse pig production systems and we should be using that to our advantage rather than just falling in and competing with the rest.”

She also expressed a desire for all pig producers to get their antibiotic data onto the eMB-Pigs website – ‘and that they find the experience simple and painless and have access to support to help if they have any issues!’

Zoe said: “I’ve been really impressed in the main about how the whole industry has risen to the antimicrobial resistance challenge this year (2016).

“No-one likes change, and this has been hoisted upon us quite forcefully and quickly, but the positive attitude I have seen, the reduction programmes already put in place on farm, the focus on good biosecurity and the willingness of pig farmers to get involved has been amazing.

“It’s one thing to tell the officials that we are making changes, but even better to show the proof – which is exactly what the antibiotic sales report showed, especially for the pig sector.”

She also highlighted the NPA’s efforts, in partnership with other industry bodies, to retain the use of Zinc Oxide, which is under threat, following a recommendation from an EU veterinary advisory body.