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Transport, Red Tractor, gene editing, BATs and more... the various consultations NPA is responding to

15th Feb 2021 / By Alistair Driver

On top of everything else happening within the pig industry today, the NPA is currently working on detailed responses to numerous significant consultations and an important parliamentary inquiry.

The UK’s formal departure from the EU has created a raft of new policy considerations on a range of topics, prompting a flood of consultation documents.

We will be responding to all of these consultations, but we also encourage members to engage and respond directly in order to deliver the strongest possible industry response.

Defra Welfare at Transport consultation - deadline February 25

Launched on December 3, this consultation proposes a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening, alongside other proposed measures that could have a significant impact on the movement of live pigs within the UK.

NPA Senior policy adviser Rebecca Veale said: “This is a huge consultation with 30 questions, covering not just live animal exports, but an array of measures which Defra has proposed including temperature parameters, stocking density, sea conditions and headroom allowances.

"If implemented, these proposals would have a significant and dramatic impact on the whole pig supply chain.”

The initial deadline has been extended and we would like to see as many people as possible respond.

If anyone has any queries about the consultation, please contact Rebecca  ().

  • You can read more HERE
  • You can view the consultation and respond HERE

Red Tractor standards consultation - deadline March 5Red Tractor new logo

Launched in early January, this is another hugely significant consultation for the pig sector, setting out a number of proposed changes to the Red Tractor pig standards.

Many of the proposed changes reflect the requirements of the Defra Pig Welfare Code. There are new requirements on animal health and welfare, husbandry, biosecurity and antibiotic usage, as the changes tie in with the Pig Health and Welfare Pathway currently being developed and the new sector antibiotic targets.

In some cases, the proposed changes come in the form of recommendations, rather than new requirements.

The NPA is keen for as many members to have their say as possible. “We will issue our detailed response to the consultation and make it available to members for comment, but it is equally important for individual members to respond too,” NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said.

  • The full list of proposed changes, supplementary documents on why Red Tractor has reached these decisions and on how to respond to the consultation can be found on the Red Tractor review hub https://assurance.redtractor.org.uk/
  • The full consultation can be accessed at https://redtractor.citizenspace.com
  • Red Tractor is also keen for scheme members to respond to the What Matters To You And Your Business survey.

Green Paper: Transforming Government Procurement - deadline March 10

These proposals are intended to shape the future of public procurement in this country for many years to come, offering potential benefits for the pig sector.

Trying to persuade the UK Government to source more British pigmeat for its own departments has been a long-term aim of the NPA.

  • You can view the consultation HERE

Defra Regulation of Genetic Technologies - deadline March 17

Launched by Defra Secretary George Eustice at the virtual Oxford Farming Conference in early January, the consultation proposes changing the laws in England to allow gene editing research to be used to produce crops and livestock.

This could in theory benefit the pig sector as, for example, the technology has already been used at experimental levels to breed pigs have shown resistance to both PRRS and African swine fever.  

Rebecca said: “Our industry cannot be disadvantaged by a lack of access to such a tool and any future policy must be clear not to breach ethical boundaries, but to have flexibility to allow the technology to be exploited to its full potential.”

  • You can view the consultation HERE

Agriculture (Wales) Bill White Paper - deadline March 25

We will be responding to the consultation on proposals for Wales on a re-shaped Welsh farming support policy, following the UK’s exit from the EU.

  • You can view the consultation HERE

Best available techniques’– A future regime within the UK - Preventing or minimising impacts on the environment from industry - deadline April 18

This is another very important consultation for the pig sector. Launched in January, it sets out the UK Government and Devolved Administrations’ approach to a regime for developing ‘Best Available Techniques’, which will be used in environmental permitting for certain activities, including pig production.

NPA policy services officer Lizzie Wilson said: "Following our EU Exit, and due to air quality being of primary importance, government will be designing a regime for permitting throughout the UK and devolved’s.

"Therefore it is vital that NPA respond to ensure our permitted producer members are fully represented and not unduly impacted in future."

This consultation seeks stakeholders’ views on the design of the proposed UK regime.

  • You can read it HERE

EFRA Committee urgent inquiry: Brexit border delays for meat and seafood exports – deadline February 19

Neil ParishThe influential EFRA committee, chaired by Devon MP, Neil Parish (left), announced at the end of January that it will be holding an inquiry into the disruption to meat and seafood resulting from the introduction of new Brexit checks introduced at the start of the year.

Among the questions being asked are:

  • What impact have delays and non-tariff barriers on seafood and meat exports to the EU had on UK businesses? 
  • What steps should the UK Government take to mitigate these issues? What should its short and long-term priorities for action be?  

We are pleased to say the NPA has been asked to give oral evidence to the inquiry and we will also submit a full written response.

  • You can see more details on the inquiry HERE

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