More than 100 farms with pigs across the country will be opening their gates to the public this weekend as LEAF Open Farm Sunday (LOFS) returns.
Of the 361 farms taking part in the event on Sunday, June 9, 75 have pigs as part of their main farm enterprise and 116 farms have stated that pigs will be a part of their event. OFS attracted 300,000 people last year and 89% of those surveyed said that they had a more positive view of farming after visiting a farm, while more than 70% were also making more conscious decisions when buying food.
Among those participating is producer group member Andre Freemantle. Writing in Pig World recently he said: “After a bit of soul searching we have decided to do Open Farm Sunday for the 5th year in a row – it is a lot of work, but the farm does get a good tidy up, and it’s very heartening to hear the positive comments, plus it will be a good opportunity to explain to the general public how a Red Tractor pig farm works.”
He said OFS also offered an opportunity to redress the balance on some of the commentary made on social media about the pig sector.
Other farms with pigs taking part include Meryl Wards’ Uncle Henry’s, in Lincolnshire, and Bedfordia Farms, in Bedfordshire. Ladies in Pigs will be in attendance at both venues on Sunday, spreading the word about high quality Red Tractor pork.
You can see the full list of participating farms on the LEAF OFS website
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies described OFS as a great opportunity to promote the British pig industry and thanked all the pig farms who are opening their doors.
“We know it takes some effort to open your doors to the public, but there are great benefits from doing so. With so much misinformation around this is a chance to tell the real story about how we keep our pigs and produce our pork.
“More than ever, the pig industry is on higher alert for the spread of disease and it is essential that all visitors follow strict biosecurity rules, including, of course clear signage to prevent the public feeding the pigs.
“It could also provide a useful opportunity to alert the public of the risk of ASF and the potential impacts of its arrival.”
Biosecurity top tips
LEAF has provided some biosecurity tips for pig producers.
- Encourage visitors to take personal responsibility for their own and their family’s safety while visiting your farm, with clear signage and washing facilities
- Provide basic hand-washing facilities with running water (cold or hot), liquid soap and paper towel
- Put foot baths in all appropriate areas, with signs to show people what to do, when and why
- Clearly mark areas of the farm where visitors are not permitted
- Provide signage giving information on the level of animal contact permitted and
- Supervise animal contact areas and separate them from eating areas.