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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



European Union
exports up
40 percent

By Digby Scott
Wednesday July 27, 2016

In the first five months of this year, European Union pork exports to third countries have increased 40 percent in volume and 33 percent in value, compared to the same period last year.

There's been an increase of 48 percent in total pigmeat exports and a 29 percent increase in lard, fat and offal exports.

China is the largest outlet for European Union pork exports — up 106 percent in volume and 123 percent in value compared to the same period last year, driven by a shortage of domestic product in China.

Hong Kong is the second most important destination for European Union pigmeat, with an increase of 19 percent in volume and 44 percent in value.

Japan is the third most important destination, showing a 33 percent increase in volume, and 25 percent increase in value.

In the period January-May 2016, European Union third country pigmeat imports decreased 13 percent, compared to the same period last year.

World prices

By Digby Scott
Wednesday July 27, 2016

World pigmeat prices generally increased in the first two weeks of July.

The exception is the United States, where prices have been falling since the end of June as a result of increased production and lower-than-expected exports due to the strength of the dollar.

United States production is predicted to remain high into the fourth quarter of this year, but will fall back next year.

In contrast, Brazil producers have seen their prices soaring in recent weeks, driven by record export volumes particularly to China which in turn has meant tighter domestic supplies.

NPA Tidy
Unit posters

Tuesday July 26, 2016


All requests for NPA's Tidy Unit posters have now been fulfilled. If yours haven't arrived, or you need extra copies, please contact Andrea Vickers who will be happy to oblige.

This changing
landscape could
mean new

By Digby Scott
Tuesday July 26, 2016

For sure these are uncertain times for British agriculture… but we could also be entering a period of opportunity for the pig industry, says NPA.

With this in mind, the association will be holding a summit in London in September, to identify ways the sector can take advantage of the changing landscape.

"The summit will help us provide members with informed options so they are better equipped to make long-term plans for their businesses," said NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies today.

Places will be limited because NPA is keen to include leaders and innovators from a broad cross-section of the supply chain and government, to help develop the right strategy and achieve the best outcomes for British pig producers.  

It's an invitation-only event. Invitations will be sent out shortly.


Tuesday July 26, 2016

The latest issue of NPA's newsletter, "Producer Brief" will be emailed to members shortly and is also available for download from the Members' Area >>

Pig farm
last year

Tuesday July 26, 2016

Pig unit welfare inspections in Britain by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, 2012-2015.

  2012 2013 2014 2015
Pigs 496 524 442 375
58,079 62,319 54,023 53,995

ForFarmers buys
pig feed business

Tuesday July 26, 2016

Animal feed company ForFarmers has bought Vleuten-Steijn, a Dutch business supplying pig producers in Netherlands and Germany.

Could Jamie
British pork?

Tuesday July 26, 2016

NPA hopes to persuade Jamie Oliver to take up new product development on behalf of British pork. Five years ago, with his "Jamie Saves Our Bacon" campaign, the celebrity chef successfully introduced the nation to slow-cooked shoulder pork >>

hits supply

Monday July 25, 2016

Friday's trading saw supply remaining tight, with many producers reporting pigs had not grown due to the mini-heat wave, reports Thames Valley Cambac. Temperatures of 30-plus degrees are not conducive to optimum pig production and this could have further, as yet unseen, ramifications due to poor boar performance. >>

GM soybeans get
import green light

Saturday July 23, 2016

The European Union executive formally authorised three GM soybeans for import and processing by written procedure yesterday, with the announcement coming as a relief to United States exporters who have been waiting for the files to be rubber-stamped for over six months >>

to help train
pig vets

By Digby Scott
Friday July 22, 2016

NPA is updating its trainee-vet placement register.

If you are prepared to join the register of pig producers willing to host trainee-vet placements, please contact Andrea Vickers at NPA.

Likewise, if you are already on the list, but would like to come off, please let Andrea know.

As part of their veterinary degree, all trainee-vets are required to gain experience of pigs by working for a short period on a pig farm.

Finding placements is not always easy for trainees and frequently they contact NPA for help in finding a willing producer.

NPA is keen to help — if it can — because such placements may encourage some trainees eventually to help replenish the sector's small and indispensable corps of specialist pig vets.

• All students are vetted and have to provide a letter of good standing before they are given any producer details.

NPA annual
general meeting

Thursday July 21, 2016

NPA's annual general meeting will be at 3pm (following Producer Group), on September 6, at Mary Sumner House, 24 Tufton Street, Westminster SW1P 3RB. Any Producer or Allied Industry member who would like to attend is asked to contact Andrea Vickers.

Updated meat
industry guide
now online

Wednesday July 20, 2016

The United Kingdom Meat Industry Guide — more commonly known as the "MIG" — has been updated and is now available online.

Over several months, the Food Standards Agency and industry representatives reviewed the content of the guide and worked on the design to give it a fresh look.

It has also been restructured into 20 chapters, which makes it easier to navigate. Each section identifies legal requirements, useful tips and good practice principles.

"For those not in the know, the guide contains legislation and best-practice protocols for policy-makers and businesses involved in the slaughter, cutting and processing of fresh meat," according to the July issue of AHDB Pork's "Abattoir Update".

"It is particularly useful for those who are subject to veterinary control by the FSA, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in Northern Ireland and Food Standards Scotland."

Pork exports
are a big deal for
Britain, NPA tells
Brexit minister

By Digby Scott
Wednesday July 20, 2016

NPA chairman Richard Lister has written to Brexit minister David Davis stressing the importance of the pig industry to Britain's balance of trade.

He says future sustainability of the British pig industry can be achieved only if pig producers are able to compete with both their European and global counterparts.

Commending the new minister's view that key stakeholders must be consulted, he highlights the importance of the National Pig Association as an organisation that is affiliated to the National Farmers Union and represents over 80 percent of the national pig herd.

"The United Kingdom pig industry is worth £1.2 billion at the farm-gate, £5 billion at retail and, considering foodservice and other external sales and export values, over £7.5 billion in total.

"Our now blossoming export market is worth £350 million a year and is a vital component of our profitability in this increasingly volatile sector."

In his letter, Richard Lister calls on the minister to work towards a transition of current European Union regulation into less onerous domestic Kingdom regulation and also stresses the importance of a free-trade agreement post-Brexit.

He proposes an in-constituency meeting to discuss "how we can work together on these key principles", the meeting to include NPA vice-chairman Richard Longthorp, who lives and farms in the minister's Howden constituency.

Promising results
in ultra high
frequency pig
tagging pilot

Wednesday July 20, 2016

A pilot project to test the practicalities of using ultra-high frequency (UHF) tags on farms is making good progress and early results are looking promising, according to AHDB Pork's Emma Bailey-Beech.

The trial has been evaluating ease of tagging, retention rate and reading of data at different stages. It has also tested the practicalities of integrating unique ID into existing management systems on farms and at the abattoir.

"To date, approximately 2,400 JSR pigs have been tagged as part of the project. These have been destined for the Morrison's abattoir," says Emma.

"Notably, a retention rate of >99 percent has been achieved, as long as ear tags are placed in the ear in the correct way (ie. the female part of the tag on the inside of the ear) and piglets are tagged shortly after birth.

"Most importantly, all of the tags have been readable post-processing at Morrison's and it has also been possible to associate the pig ID with individual slaughter data.

"The initial results are really encouraging. The next phase of the trial will involve the assessment of the automatic integration of data at the abattoir and feedback loops to the farm management system."

Research student
seeks interviewees

Wednesday July 20, 2016

Psychology student Sarah Golding is researching general beliefs about the use of antibiotics on farms and would like to talk to some pig producers and vets.

Her study will form the first part of her PhD and in due course may be published in an academic journal.

During the interview, she will cover the following broad topics with both vets and farmers:

  • Experience of using/prescribing antibiotics on farms, with recent examples.
  • What they consider when deciding on treatment options.
  • Views on antibiotic resistance.
  • Views on antibiotic use on farms in general.

There's more information in her briefing note. If you are willing to help, please contact her directly

Brexit will hurt
you more than us,
claims Brussels

Tuesday July 19, 2016

Brussels has today published a first assessment of the Economic Outlook for the European Union, following the United Kingdom's leave vote.

It says a prolonged period of uncertainty could influence the modest recovery in the European economy by dampening investment and consumption.

Ahead of the United Kingdom referendum, the latest available data pointed to expected gross domestic product growth in the euro area of 1.7 percent in both 2016 and 2017.

Following the referendum, growth in the euro area would moderate to 1.5—1.6 percent in 2016 and to 1.3—1.5 percent neat year, according to both scenarios.

Although the depreciation of sterling mitigates the economic fallout for the United Kingdom, the analysis suggests the United Kingdom economy is likely to be more severely affected, with a GDP loss of 1—2.75 percent by 2017.

Growth in the other 27 member countries would slow from an expected 1.9 percent in 2016 to 1.7—1.8 percent and from 1.8 percent to 1.4—1.7 percent in 2017.

Neither of the analysed scenarios contains assumptions on the shape of any future agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

"The United Kingdom's s vote will affect not only the United Kingdom but also the rest of the European Union economy through several transmission channels, mainly uncertainty, investment, trade and migration," says the assessment.

"In the near term, the main impact will be a large increase in uncertainty, both economic and political. These factors are expected to slow private consumption and investment growth and to impact on foreign trade, mainly in the United Kingdom, but also in the other member states."

Meat Market

Tuesday July 19, 2016

Brussels has launched a Meat Market Observatory. The aim is to provide the European Union pigmeat, beef and veal sectors with more transparency by disseminating market data and short-term analysis in a timely manner. More >>



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

September 5

NPA Pig Industry Summit, St Matthew's House, 20 Great Peter Street, Westminster, London. Places are limited so this event is by invitation only.

September 5, 2016

NPA Producer Group dinner, 7.30pm Royal Horseguards.

September 6, 2016

NPA Producer Group, Mary Sumner House.

September 6, 2016

NPA annual general meeting 3pm.

September 14, 2016

AHDB Pork board meeting.

September 27, 2016

NPA Allied Industry Group, Stoneleigh.

October 4, 2016

NPA south-west region meeting, Exeter Racecourse (to follow the George Vet Group pig fair on the same day).

October 10, 2016

NPA south-central region meeting Newbury Rugby Club.

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 13, 2016

NPA east region meeting, Diss Rugby Club.

October 25, 2016

NPA north region meeting, Sandburn Hall, York.

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 8, 2016

Young NPA National Event in London. Details to follow.

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, 2017

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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