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Becca's blog: Rain did not stop play in Yorkshire

28th Jun 2019 / By Rebecca Veale

In her latest blog, Rebecca Veale discusses this week's YNPA trip to Yorkshire and the new EU Animal Health Law. 

YNPA Leeds Uni group

This week Ed, 31 Young NPA members and I travelled up to Yorkshire to take a look at agriculture up in that part of the world.

Whilst the weather wasn’t on our side with torrential rain and fog we had a great few days which started off with a sneaky peak at the new Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) pig research facility at the University of Leeds (pictured). There is some fantastic technology in there so we’re all hoping to go back over the next few years to see it in action and hear about the exiting projects they have drawn in.

We then headed towards the coast to the Mulgrave Estate where we were very well looked after, we explored the gardens, learnt about the parkland deer reintroduced to the estate and met some of their tenants – a progressive dairy farm and a gin distillery (tasters included!)!

The trip ended with a tour of the Karro processing plant near Malton; having never experienced a pig kill line in an abattoir it was a fantastic experience for me as well as the group! They process over 20,000 pigs a week with product hitting both the domestic market and going across the world to markets such as China and Australia.

It was like a finely-tuned machine, from the timing of trucks arriving in lairage to the butchery rooms. If ever you get the chance to visit an abattoir then I’d recommend it! I won’t go into any more detail about the trip because there is a piece in Pig World and a blog coming from Chloe, a Young NPA member, and I don’t want to steal their thunder!

EU Animal Health Law

One job on the list this week and next is the ongoing EU Animal Health Law and the consultations that are open for various aspects of this new regulation which needs to be implemented by 2021.

The European Commission is working on the Delegating Acts and Implementing Acts which cover topics such as surveillance, transport and eradication programmes. We’ve shared them out between the team because the documents are pretty long, often over 100 pages each, and so take time to consider and respond.

We go through and make sure that all parties involved in pig production are able to comply with the parts of the regulation relevant to them and also that they are proportionate. This isn’t necessarily the most glamorous part of the job but it is really important because this is our opportunity to make a change if it is needed. If we do wish to object to something then providing examples always helps to demonstrate why it wouldn’t work.

Anyway, I’m going to tempt fate and say what I’ve got through so far has been fairly sensible! The next phase of this work is the government in each EU member state putting the regulation into domestic legislation, whilst we are leaving the EU it is highly likely we will implement this regulation because we’ve already adopted the text and it’s a good piece of regulation.

When we get to the drafting of domestic legislation we’ll do the same again and go through the text with a fine tooth comb. Legislative change does take years and can seem frustrating but in all honesty the time gives us chance to lobby – and we do like to have our say!

Anyway that’s enough from me, the orders had gone up at Karro because of the warm weather due this weekend so I hope you, and all of Britain get chance to light the BBQ!