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Chris Brant Award 2016
Make your nomination here
There can only be one winner every year and in the past the judges have had an extremely difficult time picking just one name from so many inspirational entries, so if you have nominated someone in the past and they didn't win please try again this year. It is important the industry recognises the contribution made by its exceptional people. View past winners View past winners >>
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The news archives are in the Members' Area


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



Nominations open
today for Chris Brant
Award 2016

By Digby Scott
Tuesday May 31, 2016

Nominations for NPA's Chris Brant Award 2016 open today. The award is presented annually to someone who goes the extra mile for the industry.

The award is not about doing your paid job well, nor even about doing it very well —it's about consistently going the extra mile on behalf of the industry, without thought of personal reward.

The Chris Brant Award began in 1999 when it was presented to Chris Brant and John Cusson at the People in Pigs event in East Yorkshire.

It was renamed the Chris Brant Award in 2009, in memory of a British Pig Industry Support Group leader, who helped organise direct action against retailers in 1998-2000. Chris Brant embodied the ethos of the award.

"There can only be one winner every year and in the past the judges have had an incredibly difficult time picking just one name from so many inspirational entries, so if you have nominated someone in the past and they didn't win please try again this year," said NPA vice-chairman Richard Longthorp, who is again sponsoring the award.

"It is important the industry recognises the contribution made by these exceptional people, particularly when we are going through such a difficult period."

This year's Chris Brant Award will be presented at a gala dinner at Lancaster London Hotel on Wednesday, November 9, at the industry's third National Pig Awards, organised by Pig World in association with NPA, AHDB Pork and British Pig Association.

Last year's National Pig Awards were an outstanding success with entries up 40 percent and 370 attendees at the highly-acclaimed dinner.


Last year's winner was Jimmy Butler, who is exactly what the Chris Brant Award is all about — always ready to go the extra mile for the industry he has served with good humour and distinction for many years.

With his wife Pauline and two sons Stuart and Alastair, Jimmy Butler runs a 2,000-sow pig herd at St Margaret's Farm, Mells, Halesworth, Suffolk, producing high-welfare free-range pork for the family's successful Blythburgh Free Range Pork brand.

In 1998 he was a driving force behind the British Pig Industry Support Group in East Anglia and in 2011 he suggested pig farmers use their roadside fields to advertise British pork, an idea that was picked up by NPA and led to the industry's successful "Banners Blitz" campaign which saw over a thousand banners promoting British pork appearing next to busy main roads and motorways across the country.

More about the Chris Brant Award >>

Processors ramp
up prices as British
pig shortage grows

Tuesday May 31, 2016

Despite trading into a bank holiday, most major processors planned full kills on Friday, reports marketing group Thames Valley Cambac.

Supply remained very tight with growth issues reported on many units. This demand-supply imbalance saw prices rise with factory contributions up anywhere between 1p and 4p, and one monthly input rising by double figures.

Those factories wishing to increase volumes dipped into the spot market where bids in excess of 122p were required to secure any pigs, but supplies were scarce.

The fresh meat market was buoyant, and prices improved despite the short week >>

United States
pork production
will increase
next year

Monday May 30, 106

Increased farrowings and continued strong growth in litter sizes will drive United States pork production up around 2.6 percent next year, intensifying international competition for export markets.

China releases
more frozen pork

Monday May 30, 2016

In an effort to alleviate its current shortage of pork — caused by poor prices, disease and new environmental rules — China's ministry of commerce has released 150,000 tonnes of frozen pork from state reserves in 12 regions, since December.

The ministry will continue to make more frozen pork available, releasing an additional 3,050 tonnes of pork this May-July. This includes 50 tonnes of pork to be sold daily basis to over a hundred supermarkets.

However these volumes are small compared to the size of the total Chinese market and will not dent demand for imported pork.

United States
shoppers getting
more picky over

Monday May 30, 2016

Shoppers are becoming increasingly aware of their rights when buying meat. This is highlighted by a study in the States where they make clear they want to know (a) how the animal was farmed, (b) where it was raised, and (c) what it was fed.

The study shows 58 percent want the presence of GMs declared on products, 68 percent want traceability, 68 percent want to know if the animal had been given antibiotics and 70 percent if it was administered hormones.

Currently the general United States meat market is failing to meet these customer demands and this — according to the study — is leading to segmentation with some meats marketed as antibiotic/hormone/GM-free.

France poised
to try mandatory
origin labelling of
processed meats

Sunday May 29, 2016

If Brussels gives the green light, France plans a trial of origin labelling of milk and meat in processed products.

A European Commission decision is expected mid-June, and France would then run the trial until the end of 2018.

British pig producers will watch progress with interest, as they too would like to see processed meats subject to mandatory country of origin labelling, to help shoppers choose British bacon, ham and gammon.

The French initiative has been warmly welcomed by the cooperative Cooperl and its processing arm Brocéliande, acquired in 2009.

Origin labelling on ham is as a strong selling point. Sales were up 3 percent in volume with origin declared and down 6.9 percent without.

However, other processors fear an increase in prices as France is not self-sufficient for legs. Today, 60 percent of charcuterie products mention country of origin of the meat, which represents 75 percent of total volumes.

European Union MEPs have pressed strongly for the introduction of mandatory origin labelling of processed meats, but the Commission is not keen, arguing it would increase regulatory costs.

Hungary cuts
VAT on pork

Sunday May 29, 2016

Hungary is in the process of reversing falls in consumption of pork by cutting VAT from 27 percent to 5 percent. Hungarian pork consumption fell from 37.6kg per capita in 1991 to 24.9kg in 2014. Despite a new promotion programnme and £4m investment in the country's Spar pork processing plant at Bicske, the Hungarian pork sector remains very fragile and suffers from underinvestment.

Brussels calls for
cutback in farm
use of last resort

By Digby Scott
Saturday May 28, 2016

Farmers must cut the use of the antibiotic colistin in animals by two-thirds and restrict its use to last resort only, in order to slow-down the spread of antimicrobial resistance, regulators at the European Medicine Agency said this week.

The agency's Antimicrobial Advice Ad Hoc Expert Group describes 1mg or lower as the desirable level, saying places like Denmark and the Netherlands have already achieved this goal, while Spain and Italy have far higher consumption.

The group sites improved farming conditions, on-farm biosecurity and vaccination as routes to lower use of antimicrobials on farms.

Colistin has been widely used for more than 50 years in both humans (last-resort medicine for bacterial infections) and animals (also for bacterial infections) and is one of the five most commonly used antibiotics for animals within the European Union.

The group recommends member countries reduce use of colistin on farms to a maximum level of 5mg/kg and set stricter national targets.

It says reduction of colistin use should not be compensated for by increasing use of other types of antimicrobials.

The European Medicine Agency is seeking comments from the public, deadline June 26.

• Colistin is a Class 3 antibiotic in Britain, along with third and fourth generation cephalosporins, and fluoroquinolones, meaning it is of critical importance to human health and should only be used in animals as a last resort, only when no other options are available and only when supported by antibiotic sensitivity testing.

World leaders
pledge to combat antimicrobial

By Digby Scott
Saturday May 28, 2016

In a joint statement released yesterday, G7 leaders committed to making collective efforts to strengthen measures for combating global antimicrobial resistance.

They underlined the key roles of research, development and innovation in tackling resistance.

IFAH Europe, representing the European animal health industry, hailed the leaders for recognising the "importance of working together between sectors – human and animal health, agriculture, food and the environment in order to improve access to and preserve antibiotics' effectiveness for future use".

European Union health ministers will discuss the Europe's strategy to tackle antimicrobial resistance when they meet in Luxembourg on June 16-17. Their agriculture counterparts will discuss the issue at the Farm Council on June 27-28.

Implementation of the World Health Organisation's Global Action Plan is up for discussion at the United Nations General Assembly's meeting on antimicrobial resistance in New York on September 13-26.

Worst first quarter
for half a decade

By Digby Scott
Saturday May 28, 2016

British pig producers had their worst first quarter since 2011, according to newly-published AHDB cost of production data. During January-March this year they lost an average £9 a head. Estimated total production costs were 129p a kilo. That's 11p a kilo less than average income.

This compares with a 5p/kg loss in first quarter last year. But in first quarter 2011, producers were losing an eye-watering 24p a kilo >>

Prices are moving
from intensive care
to the recovery ward

Friday May27, 2016

The pig industry is moving out of the critical care ward and heading for recovery with prices continuing their recent rally on all fronts apart from sows.

Contract abattoir weekly contribution prices appear to be leading the way despite a short week ahead with the result that most of the big players' weekly prices were in the 116p/kg to 120p/kg range.

But spot prices are if anything a tad ahead of these levels with spot bacon today traded in the 118p to 122p/kg region according to spec. Chinese demand is helping lift pigmeat prices across Europe >>

throttling the
life out of

Friday May 27, 2016

From next January, feed-in tariffs for electricity from small-scale biogas plants (under 500 kilowatts) will be cut by a further 27 percent and the tariff for larger plants will fall to zero (from 7.8p/kWh currently). This is according to a six-week consultation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, closing on July 7.

Just over two years ago, the FITs for small and medium AD were 14-15p/kWh, nearly three times the new proposed 2017 rates of 5.5p and 6p/kWh. There has been no corresponding reduction in capital costs, which have decreased only modestly as the industry has grown.

"Yet again, this government seems determined to throttle the life out of the emerging renewable energy market," said Dr Jonathan Scurlock, NFU chief adviser on renewable energy.

Pig prices poised to
breach 120p barrier


Friday May 27, 2016

Average Pig Price is up 1.34p and at 119.05 is going to break the 120p barrier in the next week or so, and German prices have just risen significantly too. So even though the euro is weaker >>

European prices
continue to improve

Thursday May 26, 2016


The average European Union pig price is continuing to rise in response to seasonal influences and is within reach of last year's level. Although this is an encouraging trend, most continental producers are still operating in the red and significant contraction of the European Union breeding herd is essential in the second half of the year, if British producers are to enjoy improved returns in 2017.

Is Russia at last
prepared to
talk turkey
over pigmeat?

By Digby Scott
Thursday June 26, 2016

Russia may be poised to send a list of conditions to Brussels, for easing its phytosanitary embargo on European Union pigmeat products. If this quid pro quo approach is successful it could mean a resumption of exports of cheaper pigmeat products, such as fats, which are covered by Moscow's African swine fever ban, but are not by its broader geopolitical embargo >>

DavidFocus farm
meeting in

Wednesday May 25, 2016

AHDB Pork has named its first "focus farm". It's David Goodier's 250-sow unit in Lancashire — and there'll be an open meeting there on June 20. David's spell as a focus farm host will be around two years.

"We're encouraging the pig industry to get involved with the project from the outset. On our own we may not have all the answers but, together, we can address some of today's issues and work through them, pooling knowledge and experience," said Charlotte Evans, technical innovation manager at AHDB Pork.

The first session will include a tour of the host focus farm. Attendees will have the opportunity to review David Goodier's data, benchmark and then look at solutions which can be tested and monitored on his 250-sow unit.

"We have the chance to review pig production issues together, as a united front, to find practical solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face," said David Goodier.

• All wishing to attend must register in advance before Tuesday June 14. Email or call 02476 478792.



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

June 1-2, 2016

Suffolk Show IP3 8UH.

June 14, 2016

AHDB Pork regional forum to encourage pig producers and the allied trades to provide direct input into proposed technical activity and to offer feedback on the quality and relevance of AHDB Pork work — at Denny Bros, Bury St Edmunds, starting at 2pm, contact Andrew Palmer on 07976 443454.

June 15, 2016

NPA Producer Group, Stoneleigh.

June 20, 2015

Focus farm open meeting in Lancashire, at David Goodier's 250-sow unit. All wishing to attend must register in advance before Tuesday June 14. Email or call 02476 478792.

June 22-23, 2016

Lincolnshire Show, Grange de Lings, Lincoln.

June 23-26, 2016

Royal Highland Show, EH28 8NB.

June 25, 2016

East Yorkshire sponsored awareness walk in memory of Alexander Forman and Richard Pooley. The walk will begin at 8am, at the Yorkwold head office at Driffield, and conclude with a hog roast. Those who do not feel up to the full 25 miles may complete a five, ten or 15 mile stretch of the walk with all walkers finishing at the same time and location. 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.

June 29-30, 2016

Royal Norfolk Show, NR5 0TT.

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 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 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.

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 27, 2017

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

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