NPA has issued a strong response to general media reports which suggest British pig farms are at the centre of a ‘cruel horse hormone torture scandal’.
The story, with first appeared on the front page of the Mirror, relates to blood being extracted from horses in South America for use in meat production, with the claim that meat sold in Britain comes from animals that have been given the hormone, known as Pregnant Mare’s Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG).
In seeking to clarify what is actually happening on UK farms, NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We are aware that a small number of products containing PMSG are authorised for use in pigs in the UK for the induction and synchronisation of oestrus.
“However, from extensive enquiries, our understanding is that these products are used very little, if at all, in UK pig production as good management such as boar presence, sow nutrition and proper lighting means that sows naturally return to oestrus after weaning which negates the need to use them.
“It is also important to stress that, as an oestrus synchronisation product for breeding pigs, it would never be used in pigs destined for meat.
“Despite suggestions in the media that this is a story about British pigmeat, we want to make it clear the use of the product is not by any means standard practice in the UK.
“The UK pig industry prides itself on the high standards that underpin our pig production.”