I’m delighted and excited to have started at AHDB on a permanent basis this month. Having done a six-month secondment at AHDB in 2017, where I was blown away by the passion and attitude of my colleagues, and not just in the pork sector, a permanent move seemed too good an opportunity to miss.
Don’t get me wrong; having been at the Royal Veterinary College on and off since the 1980s, it was an emotional decision to leave, and not taken lightly, but I am convinced that it is the right one. I have some very fond memories there, not to mention good friends and I thank them for their loyalty and comradeship over the years.
But this is no time to dwell – there is so much to do!
The British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) will get a full review and relaunch in 2018 to ensure maximum benefit and use is made of the data.
We are reviewing what and how we collect data and how we analyse it to be of best use to producers and their vets. The report you will see will look different and hopefully be more user friendly.
If you have any thoughts or comments on the system, now is a good time to make changes, so please feel free to contact me. And that goes for other activities too – please do contact me if you would like to chat about anything. I can’t promise to change everything, but am always happy to gather opinions.
Activity around responsible antibiotic use continues to increase and no doubt will do further in 2018. The RUMA (Responsible use of Medicines in Agriculture) targets last year have now set the scene for veterinary use to 2020 and beyond. eMB has been a success in capturing data, but we must not be complacent or underestimate the continued effort that will be required to ensure we meet the targets and, at the same time, safeguard the welfare of our pigs.
This month RUMA launches its colostrum campaign (#ColostrumIsGold), which highlights how ensuring newborn pigs receive adequate colostrum is key to their future health and to reducing antibiotic use, particularly post-weaning. Do keep an eye out for further tips and information.
The British Veterinary Association commented on Michael Gove’s recent Oxford speech, stating that animal welfare must be at the heart of any changes made to animal agriculture in the wake of Brexit. I agree. Welfare has been and must continue to be a focus in our work and we anticipate that there will be changes to welfare requirements over 2018.
We are looking at the Real Welfare scheme and ensuring it meets the current needs of the industry and that it can adapt, if necessary. To help, I am delighted to introduce two interns in our team – Chloe and Luchia; both Harper graduates, very motivated and already well stuck into some of our projects.
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