10 November 2000
Pig election winner calls for change

by FWi staff

A PIG farmer who topped the voting in the National Pig Associations first democratic elections said the struggling organisation must use the outcome of the elections as a mandate for change.

Lincolnshire pig producer Meryl Ward was one of the new faces elected on to the 16-strong National Pig Association producer group last week.

The former British Pig Industry Support Group (BPISG) treasurer was joined by other BPISG activists, including its former chairman Matthew Atkin.

They had previously set themselves apart from the NPA.

Mrs Ward immediately called for the NPA to “take a long hard look” at the policies that have affected its support in the last 12 months.

“The NPA has to change. The people are now there who have a mandate to take decisions on behalf of the whole industry,” she said.

NPA officials believe the associations future could be in danger unless it can increase its activities by attracting new members.

The NPA lost much grassroots support when it failed to support BPISG in a failed High Court battle against the Ministry of Agriculture.

But Mrs Ward said that the fight against MAFF over alleged discrimination against the industry was now firmly in the past.

The new-look group re-elected as its chairman Stewart Houston, who received five fewer votes than Mrs Ward in the poll.

Only 30% of the NPAs 1400 members bothered to vote.