National Pig Association (NPA) chairman, Richard Lister, delivered a strong “we’re best” message to MPs and peers during a Westminster reception this week, citing health and welfare and the UK industry’s independently-audited whole-chain assurance as key points of British excellence.
Addressing an all-party parliamentary group event, dealing with eggs, pigs and poultry, Mr Lister (pictured centre above) urged listening MPs and peers to support the industry in promoting British pork.
“Our now blossoming export market is worth approximately £350 million, and your support can help us to grow, improve and innovate to help fulfil the 25-year plan to grow more, buy more and sell more British food,” he said, adding that the British pig industry was a vibrant, progressive sector, committed to producing a fully traceable product in a responsible and sustainable manner.
The reception debate also included a presentation on the need for antibiotics in farm livestock production, delivered by NFU poultry board chairman, Duncan Priestner.
“The poultry sector takes antibiotic usage very seriously and antibiotics may only be used on farm under prescription by a veterinary surgeon,” he said.
“We must remember that animals, like humans, become ill and need to be treated. Antibiotics are a vital tool in helping our birds to fight infections and maintain high levels of health and welfare.
“We need help from Government to argue for evidence-based policies around responsible use of antibiotics. The issue should be about making sure that antibiotic resistance doesn’t threaten our health, or that of our animals, and it is vital farmers have access to antibiotics to treat animals responsibly with the medicines they require.”