NPA spring regionals – make your voice heard on antibiotic targets

The NPA’s spring regional meetings kick off this week, giving you the opportunity to make your voice heard on forthcoming antibiotic targets.

The northern meeting will take place on Tuesday (March 28), 6.30pm, at Sandburn Hall, in Flaxton, near York, YO60 7RB, with guest speaker Sandra Edwards, from Newcastle University.

This will be followed by:

  • South Central: April 4, 6.30pm, Newbury RFC, RG14 7RW. Guest speaker Chris Padfield Nuffield scholar
  • East: April 11, 6pm, Diss RFC, IP22 5RG. Guest speaker Sandra Edwards
  • South West: April 25, 6.30pm, Gypsy Hill Hotel, Exeter EX1 3RN. Guest speaker James Morrish, Kivells Auctioneers.

All meetings start with a hot buffet. To confirm your attendance, please email [email protected]

At each meeting, there will be a market update from AHDB strategy director Mick Sloyan, while NPA staff will provide updates on the big issues affecting the industry.

These will include, in the week Theresa May is set to trigger Article 50, Brexit, plus the latest on the likely zinc oxide ban and updates on the animal rights movement and the Real Welfare report.

Antibiotic targets 

But the main focus of this round of regional meetings will be the setting of new long-term antibiotic targets over the summer.

Through the forum of the Responsible Use of Medicine in Agriculture (RUMA) alliance’s Targets Task Force, NPA chairman Richard Lister and Mark White of the Pig Veterinary Society (PVS) will be negotiating the new sector targets with the government on behalf of the pig industry.

The targets will be set from a 2015 base, which will be calculated using data collected on the eMB-Pigs database. The NPA is keen to consult as widely as possible among its membership before entering formal negotiations.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “It is absolutely essential that we get these targets right. We need to enter those discussions with a proposal that is challenging but achievable.

“We will be using the regional meetings to gather producers’ views on these antibiotic reduction targets, so we really do urge you to come along, feed in your views and have your say. Every opinion counts.

“We’ve also got some excellent guest speakers and there will updates on where the market is going and much more to discuss.

“And, don’t forget, every meeting starts with a hot buffet, as if you need any more incentive to come along!”

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.