British pig producers have a bright future outside the European Union, says the National Pig Association (NPA), despite the many uncertainties ahead.
“British pork has made considerable inroads to world markets over the past two years and NPA is confident this will continue, as a result of British pork’s premium characteristics,” said the association today, adding that according to an industry poll this weekend, pig producers voted roughly in line with the rest of the country, with around 54% wanting Brexit.
NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies (pictured above), commented: “As an association, we may be sceptical about a bonfire of regulations, but we share our Brexit members’ belief in the resilience of our industry and the specialness of its product.
NPA also said that key among British pork’s sales assets in global markets, particularly China, are its rigorous safety and regulatory credentials, its high welfare characteristics, and its ability to provide different genetics for different price points ranging from modern indoor production to straw-barns to outdoor-reared and outdoor free-range. It also pointed out that British pork’s safety and regulatory credentials are underpinned by regular Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured audits.
“In addition, the industry’s unique welfare proposition includes no castration, no gestation stalls, and independent Real Welfare audits where vets score pigs for welfare indicators,” said the association, adding that the British pig industry has already introduced an antibiotic stewardship programme which is expected, when data is available, to show producers are in the process of significantly reducing their use of antibiotics.