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Keep-It-Up! (2015)
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The news archives are in the Members' Area


JUNE 2016
Call Defra Rural Services Helpline on 0300 020 0301 to report suspicion of disease in animals and for advice and guidance on animal health and welfare services. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm. There is an out of hours facility on the same number for reporting suspicion of disease in animals.

APRIL 2016
Regulation 2016/429 on Transmissible Animal Diseases ("Animal Health Law").

Practical Guidelines to Assess Fitness for Transport of Pigs

Information for people who work with livestock

Antibiotics guide
Best practice guide to antibiotic use review on pig farms.

Chris Brant
Award 2015

Chris Brant Award 2015 — includes audio of the citation by Richard Longthorp.

National Pig
Awards 2015

National Pig Awards 2015.

David Black
Award 2015

David Black Award 2015.

National Pig
Awards 2014

David Black Award 2014 — includes audio of the Sue Woodall's acceptance speech.
Chris Brant Award 2014
— includes audio of the citation by Richard Longthorp.
National Pig Awards 2014 — includes audio of state-of-the-industry address by Mick Sloyan.

AHDB Order 2008
This is the Statutory Instrument that set up AHDB. It includes provisions for discontinuing the levy.

Wild boar sightings
As an industry we have an imperfect understanding of the distribution of breeding populations of feral pigs in Britain. Please report any sightings here.

Welfare position paper
MAY 2015
Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark position paper calling for the Pig Welfare Directive to be substantially upgraded, including an outright ban on stalls and an eventual ban on farrowing crates.

Processor assurance rules
MAY 2015
Summary of revised BMPA Pig Welfare and Slaughter Module — includes new mandatory lorry washing rule.

Exotic disease planning
MARCH 2015
The United Kingdom Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals outlines the way the four administrations of the United Kingdom work together to provide a response to exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Countryside Code
The latest version of the Countryside Code has been published today by Natural England and is available for download here

Water supply systems on agricultural premises
Agricultural premises — information for anyone installing, modifying or maintaining plumbing

African swine fever in wild boar
JULY 2014
Comprehensive factsheet by University of Utrecht. Details.

Wild boar banned
APRIL 2014
Wild boar are feral pigs, or feral hogs. When referring to the feral population in Britain, the industry should drop the expression "wild boar" because it's inaccurate, and it's misleading to the public.

General guidance for feed deliveries
Good biosecurity has a high priority on most pig farms. It is essential when making deliveries. These NPA Guidelines summarise best practice when delivering feed, or other goods and services.

Live imports and disease risks
The British Pig Association, which represents pedigree pig breeders, and NPA have issued advice to all pig-keepers about disease risks when importing live pigs: BPA/NPA advice

Advice on earth-banked lagoons
The Environment Agency has published a summary of necessary soil characteristics and tests which must be carried out before constructing an unlined earth-banked lagoon: Environment Agency advice

Odour guides
• Pig Industry Good Practice Checklist

Ladies in Pigs
Ladies in Pigs website



Career opening
in livestock

Friday July 31, 2016

Farmex is seeking a recent graduate, college leaver or young person with an interest in food and livestock farming or IT systems for agriculture. Do you know anyone who might be interested? If so, please point them towards the Allied Industry Group page for full details.

Spot pigs
up 4p today

Friday July 1, 2016


Continental pig prices rose almost 3 percent last week and are now up 10 percent on last month and up 3 percent on this time last year.

Meanwhile tight supplies of British pigs, coupled with a still spluttering pound, mean a 4p leap in the Traffic Lights base price, bringing it to within just 1p of base price at this time last year >>


Above: Week 25 — evolution of the European Union pig carcase price (euros/100kg).

Chinese vets and
producers soak
up British high
welfare production

Thursday June 30, 2016



Chinese pig producers and vets have been shown round a Lincolnshire pig unit to see British high-welfare pig production in action. Meryl has an MBE for her work in animal welfare.

The visit to AHDB Pork chairman Meryl Ward's Grayingham Grange unit was organised by animal welfare group World Animal Protection.

The visitors were keen to soak up as much information as possible and bombarded Meryl and her staff with questions.

"They specifically wanted to look at loose-housed sows, as they still use sow stalls — so we were trying to persuade them of the benefits of loose-housed systems," she said.

See video footage of the visit here >>


Above: Xueqin Chu of World Animal Protection.

How many pigs?

By Digby Scott
Thursday June 30, 2016

Thanks for all your answers. Most (including me) over-estimated, even taking into account David Owers' below-the-belt insistence on including the sow in his total figure. You'll find all David's figures on the Forum page >>

How many

Stormy seas
ahead for
British exports

Thursday June 30, 2016

Brexit will mean three years of rough seas and uncertainty for the United Kingdom meat trade, according to AHDB head of livestock exports Jean-Pierre Garnier.

"However, our core strengths and unique selling points, such as our natural production systems and the high quality and great taste of our products, remain in place and, therefore, the long-term prospects are highly favourable, provided we manage a smooth transition to a new, constructive trading agreement with the European Union."

Karen Morgan, agriculture councillor at the British Embassy in Beijing, reiterated that matching expectations of the United Kingdom industry with the level of resource in China would be a key challenge moving forward.

Nevertheless President Xi Jinping's recent visit to the United Kingdom had sparked a "golden era in United Kingdom-China relations".

"Steady progress is being made on getting pork processing plant approvals to broaden the number of plants and we are continuing to press for progress in the lucrative trotter market."

NFU president
meets Truss

Thursday June 30, 2016

NFU president Meurig Raymond has called on Elizabeth Truss to help deliver a new domestic agricultural policy that works for farmers, consumers and the economy.

"Food and farming is of strategic importance to the country. I have stressed to the Secretary of State that NFU is ready and willing to work with Government to ensure we have a profitable, productive and competitive farming industry. That work must start now," he said.

NFU's ruling Council meets tomorrow to discuss the role government needs to play to ensure British farming and food production are sustainable outside of Europe.

NPA member
seeks help with
his zoonotic
control research

Wednesday June 29, 2016

David Couldrey, who works for NPA member Wicks Manor Farm is seeking help from other NPA members with his research into foodborne zoonotic pathogen control systems.

As part of his MSc Meat Business Management course at Harper Adams University, he hopes to identify a system that can be used to control zoonotic pathogens at farm level.

His research will take into account the barriers that prevent the current systems from working. "I work for a pig producer and processor and experience many of the challenges the industry faces, first hand," he says.

The on-line questionnaire he would like producers to complete has been designed to collect information on current practice, skill base, pathogen controls, external pressures, investment, pro-activity, new practice, pig price and farming methods.

All responses will remain confidential and anonymous. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete.

Zoonotic pathogens survey >>

Brexit will boost
European Union
pork exports

Wednesday June 29, 2016

No wonder the rest of the world is looking a bit sideways at us. As a result of Brexit, United States producers have seen the dollar gain around 3.5 percent over the euro, which gives an export advantage to European Union producers.

Yes, we would vote
the same way again

By Digby Scott
Tuesday June 28, 2016

Unrepentant Brexit-voting pig producers say they would vote the same way again, and nearly half of them claim to be more confident now about the industry, than before they voted.

The Traffic Lights website asked: Did you vote for Brexit? If so, would you vote the same way again? And how confident are you about the future of the British pig industry outside the European Union?

Almost two-thirds of Remain voters are pessimistic about the effects of Brexit on the future fortunes of the British pig sector.

But Leave voters are confident about a future with (they hope) less red-tape, and perhaps less continental pork on the domestic market.

The poll ran Saturday-Monday, June 25-27, during which time 45 producers, 9 allied trades and 7 others took part.

Pig producers
look to the
future with

Monday June 27, 2016

Despite the many uncertainties ahead, British pig producers have a bright future outside the European Union, says the National Pig Association.

British pork has made considerable inroads to world markets over the past two years and NPA is confident this will continue, as a result of British pork's premium characteristics.

According to an industry poll this weekend, pig producers voted roughly in line with the rest of the country, with around 54 percent wanting Brexit.

"As an association, we may be sceptical about a bonfire of regulations, but we share our Brexit members' belief in the resilience of our industry and the specialness of its product," said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies today.

Key among British pork's sales assets in global markets, particularly China, are its rigorous safety and regulatory credentials, its high welfare characteristics, and its ability to provide different genetics for different price points ranging from modern indoor production to straw-barns to outdoor-reared and outdoor free-range.

British pork's safety and regulatory credentials are underpinned by regular Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured audits.

And its unique welfare proposition includes no castration, no gestation stalls, and independent Real Welfare audits where vets score pigs for welfare indicators.

The British pig industry has also introduced an antibiotic stewardship programme which is expected — when data is available — to show producers are in the process of significantly reducing their use of antibiotics.

African swine
fever in Poland

Monday June 27, 2016

There's been an outbreak of African swine fever in commercial pigs, in Poland. The outbreak is in the existing control zone but is nevertheless a blow to Poland's hopes it was beating the disease.

The outbreak is on a farm with 261 pigs. Fifteen pigs have died and 246 have been slaughtered. The farm is near the border with Belarus.

All eyes
on sterling

Monday June 27, 2016

The main talk in the trade on Friday was obviously how Brexit would devalue the pound and thus increase the cost of imports resulting in an increase in the United Kingdom pigs price, reports marketing group Thames Valley Cambac. But early signs are that perhaps the devaluing of sterling may not be as aggressive as many commentators suggested >>

Don't talk to
me about pigs

By Digby Scott
Monday June 27, 2016

The city of York sits in the centre of one of Britain's most pig-dense regions and much of its prosperity has been built on agriculture.

But when Lizzie Wilson wrote to its MP after the May 2015 general election to introduce NPA and invite her to an evening reception at the House of Commons, she replied:

"Thank you for your email in which you state that there are a number of pigs and pig producers in my constituency. I would be interested to know how many are within my constituency of York Central. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend your event in Parliament."

The member for York Central is Rachael Maskell.

Jeremy Corbyn has just appointed her shadow environment, food and rural affairs secretary.

NPA to prepare
key Brexit
guidance for

By Digby Scott
Monday June 27, 2016

Brexit will impact almost every aspect of pig production in Britain. So over the next few weeks NPA will be defining its key guidance points for a new Government.

Key among these will be border security, migrant labour, and trade.

A major concern is austerity-Whitehall's depleted resources, with perhaps only a handful of civil servants possessing the knowledge and experience to advise ministers on the complex food and farming landscape ahead.

At a conference call between NPA officers and staff this morning, also including AHDB Pork chairman Meryl Ward, it was agreed Whitehall would need help from both NPA and AHDB Pork, which in turn could stretched both organisations' resources to the limit.

It was agreed NPA's immediate goal should be to remind ministers, retailers, processors and consumers of the unique qualities underpinning British pork production, which ensure a bright future in domestic and world markets.

Regarding red-tape, NPA staff and officers fear ministers will be prepared to agree to include most current environmental and health regulation in any new trade agreement with the European Union.

AsdaAsda is
villain on
British pork

By Digby Scott
Sunday June 26, 2016

Asda has made a rotten start towards fulfilling its April pledge to increase British fresh pork to 80 percent by next year.

May's Porkwatch results show its shelf-facings for British pork are down over 20 percent compared to March, to a low of 45 percent.

This compares highly unfavourably with Tesco, which is up 5 percent to 65 percent compared to March.

Overall, retailers are down 3 percent on pork compared to March, and down 6 percent compared to a year ago.

However, NPA's hundred-percenters have remained steadfast in their support, all with 100 percent British pork — Aldi, Budgens, the Co-op, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

And Lidl looks set to rejoin the hundred-percenters any time now, up 2 percent since March to 91 percent in May.

Across retailers as a whole, British bacon has had a rough ride between March and May, down 4 percent, but British ham is up 3 percent, and British sausages are up 2 percent.

Tesco is up 4 percent on British sausages to 82 percent, and Aldi up 5 percent to 100 percent.

Other Porkwatch highs and lows are as follows:

  • Aldi up 9 percent on British bacon and 10 percent on British ham.
  • Asda down 10 percent on British bacon, but up 15 percent on British ham.
  • Budgens up 10 percent on British bacon, but down 7 percent on British ham.
  • Co-op up on both British sausages and British ham.
  • Lidl up on British everything, except ham.
  • M&S British almost across the board, as usual.
  • Waitrose British almost across the board, as usual.
  • Sainsbury's down 13 percent on British bacon.
  • Morrisons up 5 percent on sausages but down 5 percent on ham.
  • Red Tractor facings down for pork, bacon and ham.
May Porkwatch
% British facings
v March
v Year ago
Aldi Pork
Asda Pork
Budgens Pork
Co-op Pork
Lidl Pork
M&S Pork
Morrisons Pork
Sainsbury's Pork
Tesco Pork
Waitrose Pork
Total Pork

Highest pig
inventory in
five decades

Saturday June 25, 2016

United States department of agriculture data released Friday shows the June 1 inventory of all pigs to be the highest since estimates began more than 50 years ago. This suggests that even with strong demand from China, prices will be tight for the remainder of the year. Pig numbers are estimated at 68.4m, up 2 percent from a year ago and up 1 percent from a month ago.

In support of
two young
farm tragedy

Saturday June 25, 2016

A sponsored walk takes place in East Yorkshire today, in memory of Alexander Forman and Richard Pooley who lost their lives in December whilst working on a farm on Sunk Island, East Yorkshire.

Both men were carrying out routine work on a slurry system on the Forman family pig farm. Both lost their lives in the pig farm's slurry reception chamber. They leave young families.

Alexander, 32, leaves a wife, Lucy, and a one-year-old son, Felix. Richard, 36, leaves wife Amanda, and a four-year-old son, Josh.

The focus of the walk is to raise awareness in order to prevent another tragedy of this kind, and to provide financial support for the two young boys, said Joe Dewhirst.

The Forman family run an arable and pig farm on Sunk Island and bed and breakfasted Yorkwold pigs for almost 20 years.

  • If you wish to sponsor the walkers, please do so online here or by cheque made payable to, Yorkwold Pigpro Ltd, and sent to Field House Farm, Scarborough Road, Driffield, East Yorkshire YO25 5UY.

Chris Brant Award

Saturday June 25, 2016

There have been 12 nominations for this year's NPA Chris Brant Award — a record. Nominations are now closed. The award will be judged in the coming weeks and will be presented at the National Pig Awards in London in November.

United Kingdom
will be missed

Saturday June 25, 2016

The European Crop Protection Association says it is hugely disappointed the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union.

"It could be consistently relied upon to champion the causes of innovation in agriculture, a science-based approach to decision making, and better and smarter regulation within the European Union".

Eurocommerce, representing European Union retailers and wholesalers, said it would miss the United Kingdom's liberal and forward-looking policy input.

NFU (including NPA) will have to cancel membership to Copa-Cogeca in due course. The farm lobby said United Kingdom's decision was a sad day for European Union and United Kingdom farmers alike.

Environmentalists urged the United Kingdom to commit to keeping high environmental standards set by European Union legislation.

Farm Council in Luxembourg next week (June 27-28) is likely to be dominated by the implications of yesterday's Brexit vote.

Short-term gain,
long-term pain

June 24, 2016

Well, it looks as though heart ruled head as far as the European Union referendum was concerned, with the surprise news that despite the bookies' odds of 1/10 to stay on Thursday night, the leave brigade won the day at odds of 6/1 >>

Don't panic... the
dust will settle

Friday June 24, 2016

It will be business as usual on Monday. We've been through worse upheavals in the past >>

Slow spenders
could lose special
aid funding

Friday June 24, 2016

Eight European Union countries have yet to spend their share of last September's crisis payment from Brussels, leaving around £136m unspent.

This is undermining those countries that are pressing Brussels for a further support package, to help farmers through a long period of low prices partly caused by Russia's two embargoes.

The latest information from Brussels shows France, Finland, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Poland and Austria have still not paid out their share of the September package.

If they haven't distributed the aid by June 30, the Commission will look at reallocating the unspent funds.

Of those countries that have spent their share, 89 percent went to dairy, 10 percent to pigs and 2 percent to beef.

In recent weeks, some member countries have stepped up their calls for a new targeted aid package.

Farm ministers from Poland, Germany and France have signed a rare common declaration, demanding more support, linked to cuts in milk output. The Baltic countries have also been vocal in demanding a second aid package.

Vet joins

Friday June 24, 2016

Lucy Coyne has joined AHDB Pork to specialise in antimicrobials, the subject of her PhD at Liverpool University.

She studied veterinary science at Liverpool before working in a mixed practice in Staffordshire. She was also the official vet at a dog track in Birmingham. She also worked as an equine vet and while studying for her PhD spent some time on secondment to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate.

"Her expertise will be of great value to both AHDB Pork and the wider industry," said veterinary team manager Martin Smith.

MEPs and
ministers still
at odds over

Friday June 24, 2016

MEPs are still at odds with member countries over National Emissions Ceiling Directive rules to reduce pollutants such as ammonia from livestock production.

Member country environment ministers have sought an 18 percent cut in ammonia emissions by 2030, but Brussels and MEPs want 27 percent.

United Kingdom has said it could accept a higher ammonia target of 21 percent, whilst Romania, Hungary and Poland are among those countries opposed to such a move.

In seeking to reform the National Emissions Ceiling Directive, the European Union wants to limit air pollutants such as ammonia from manure and fertiliser, linked to major health problems.

The aim is also to set targets for fine particulate matter, which includes dust from agricultural machinery.

Greens say Europe isn't doing enough to curb pollution but farm groups say too much, too soon, would cause job losses and require more animals to be brought into slatted housing.

Rattlerow team
will rise above
Brexit turmoil

Friday June 24, 2016

Rattlerow Farms has found a way to escape Brexit turmoil... its Three Peaks team will be heading for the hills this weekend to raise £5,300 or more for East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

The team will be scaling three of the country's highest mountains on Saturday — Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Snowdon in Wales and Scafell Pike in the English Lake District. And they plan to do it in just 24 hours.

Every penny raised will be donated to East Anglia's Children's Hospices, to help fund the vital care and support the organisation offers children and young people with life-threatening conditions.

The Rattlerow target equates to the daily cost of running EACH's services across Suffolk and North Essex.

The company wants to raise as much money as possible. If you would like to pledge support, you may do so here or call Rattlerow on 01379 384304, or email

is falling

Friday June 24, 2016

United Kingdom clean pig slaughterings were one percent lower in May at 863,000 head, than at the same time last year. Pigmeat production was 73,000 tonnes, 0.8 percent lower than in May 2015. But sow (and boar) slaughterings were up 3.8 percent.

NPA to discuss

Friday June 24, 2016

Senior figures in NPA will be in conference on Monday to determine the association's messages to Government on the future of the British pig industry, following today's referendum result.

It's going to be an interesting time for AHDB too — as in due course state aid rules on promoting 'British' could be relaxed, catapulting the whole controversial issue of the levy-body's promotion spend back up farming's agenda.

Brexit blip for
British pork

Friday June 24, 2016

Imported pork has suddenly lost its competitive edge >>

British farming
must not be

Friday June 24, 2016

The vote to leave the European Union will inevitably lead to a period of uncertainty in a number of areas of vital importance to Britain's farmers, said NFU president Meurig Raymond this morning.

"The NFU will engage fully and constructively with the British government to construct new arrangements. This needs to happen as soon as possible.

"Our members will rightly want to know the impact on their businesses as a matter of urgency. We understand that the negotiations will take some time to deliver but it is vital that there is early commitment to ensure British farming is not disadvantaged.

"It is vital that British farming is profitable and remains competitive, it is the bedrock of the food industry — Britain's largest manufacturing sector."

"The NFU has called an extraordinary meeting of NFU Council next Friday. The NFU's principles will be:

  • To achieve the best possible access to Europe's markets, which will remain extremely important to Britain's farmers.
  • To get access to markets in the rest of the world, while ensuring protection from imports produced to lower standards.
  • To ensure farmers and growers can get the necessary supplies of labour, both seasonal and full-time
  • To build a British agricultural policy which is as simple as possible and guarantees parity of treatment with European farmers.
  • Regulations and product approvals that are proportionate and based on risk and science.


AVOID other organisers clashing with you... send in your Diary Dates here

July 12-14, 2016

Great Yorkshire Show, HG2 8NZ.

July 13, 2016

AHDB Pork board meeting.

July 26, 2016

NPA Allied Industry Group, Stoneleigh.

September 6, 2016

NPA Producer Group, Mar Sumner House.

September 14, 2016

AHDB Pork board meeting.

September 27, 2016

NPA Allied Industry Group, Stoneleigh.

October 11, 2016

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Agriray, "Lighting for livestock". Meet for a meal at The Lion and Lamb, Milton CB24 6DF at 6.30pm followed by the meeting at the College of West Anglia, Woodside Farm, Milton CB24 6DB.

October 31, 2016

South of the Humber Pig Discussion Group — Veterinary Forum with up-to-the-minute opinion by industry experts on the issues facing the industry. This will be a must-not-miss meeting.

November 2, 2016

AHDB Pork board meeting.

November 8, 2016

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Hugh Crabtree, Farmex. Meet for a meal at The Lion and Lamb, Milton CB24 6DF at 6.30pm followed by the meeting at the College of West Anglia, Woodside Farm, Milton CB24 6DB.

November 9, 2016

National Pig Awards gala dinner, Lancaster London Hotel. Details.

November 28, 2016

South of the Humber Pig Discussion Group — Martin Barker, managing director of Midland Pig Producers Ltd, will discuss how their business is implementing change to remain competitive and sustainable in the pig industry.

November 29, 2016

NPA Allied Industry Group, Stoneleigh.

December 13, 2016

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Christmas dinner.

January 10, 2017

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Chris Leamon. Meet for a meal at The Lion and Lamb, Milton CB24 6DF at 6.30pm followed by the meeting at the College of West Anglia, Woodside Farm, Milton CB24 6DB.

February 14, 2017

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Zoetis, Improvac. Meet for a meal at The Lion and Lamb, Milton CB24 6DF at 6.30pm followed by the meeting at the College of West Anglia, Woodside Farm, Milton CB24 6DB.

January 23, 2017

South of the Humber Pig Discussion GroupPlease note this is not the last Monday of January which is our normal date. The change of date due to circumstances outside of our control. Speaker: TBC.

February 27, 2017

South of the Humber Pig Discussion GroupIndustry Panel — always an excellent evening, two speakers already confirmed, worth cancelling engagements in order to attend!

March 14, 2016

Cambridge Pig Discussion Group — Dr Sian Nichols, Trouw Nutrition. Meet for a meal at The Lion and Lamb, Milton CB24 6DF at 6.30pm followed by the meeting at the College of West Anglia, Woodside Farm, Milton CB24 6DB.

March 27, 2017

South of the Humber Pig Discussion GroupTBC — more details shortly.

How to view older news items

All expired news pages may be viewed from the Members' Area by visiting the NPA Website Archives. The NPA news page is a fast-moving environment, updated several times a day—and news items are archived after two weeks, or less. We do this so that the news page loads quickly.

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