Pig vet Duncan Berkshire honoured with Chris Brant Award
23rd Nov 2021 / By Alistair Driver
Pig vet Duncan Berkshire has been awarded the 2021 Chris Brant Award in recognition of his phenomenal contribution to the pig industry over the years.
Duncan was given a standing ovation from more than 400 people, as he received his award from NPA chairman Rob Mutimer at the National Pig Awards in London on Monday night.
Duncan specialises in pigs for Bishopton Vets, in Yorkshire and is a past-president of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS), as well as sitting on various other industry bodies, including attending many NPA PIG and Producer Group meetings over the years.
The Chris Brant Award celebrates those who have gone the extra mile over a sustained period for the British pig industry.
Rob highlighted the work Duncan has done over the years behind the scenes in helping to shape various pieces of legislation to benefit the industry and his appearances in the media, eloquently raising industry concerns and explaining the realities of life on a pig farm. He described Duncan as the 'pig industry equivalent of Covid’s Professor Jonathan Van-Tam'.
“This person more often than not operates outside of the lights of publicity in the often dim and drearyworld that is Defra Policy," he said.
"Grinding away through the boring detail with a focused determination not to allow poor, uninformed policy to disadvantage the industry whilst at the same time protecting the welfare of the animals he so passionately cares about. Many of the successes he has achieved will often never even reach the glossy pages of industry media.
“However, notwithstanding all this behind the scenes stuff, whenever he is called upon to represent industry with the media, he does so with massive professionalism and adroit articulacy. He is the Pig Industry equivalent of Covid’s Professor Van-Tam.
"Explaining sometimes complex concepts in a way that anybody can understand. And where words alone will not suffice, he has no hesitation in dragging officials onto farm to let them see the issues for themselves. Without his direct input into the new Pig Welfare Code, industry would now be facing yet another crippling challenge – one that could have proved to be the final straw for many.
“Oh, yes and he does all of this as well as his full time day job as one of the industry’s most highly respected vets, continuing to play a key role in the PVS.”
Saving GB Bacon Award
Equally popular winners on the night were the Morgan sisters – Vicky, Kate and Rachel.
Vicky and Kate collected a special Saving GB Bacon Award from NPA chief executive Zoe Davies for their work over the past few months in galvanising industry support for the Save GB Bacon campaign. The campaign, which began with the Manchester demonstration arranged by the sisters at very short notice, has generated huge publicity over the industry’s plight, with sisters becoming familiar faces across the media.
They have also launched the Bite Into British social media campaign to promote the benefits of British-produced food to the general public.
Their citation noted how they have raised the profile of the industry’s plight, forced the Government to act and, in their own words,’ shown this industry isn’t going anywhere quietly and without a fight’.
Outstanding Contribution to the Industry Award
Andrew Saunders, who recently left his role at Pilgrim’s ending a career in the pig industry spanning more than four decades, received his award from Rob Mutimer.
Rob said: “This special award recognises the Outstanding Contribution one individual has made to the industry in his 42 year career. Known as a trailblazer and an innovator, he leaves his role this year with the best wishes of all producers whom he has done so much for.”