16 May 1997

Pig research needs more co-operation

FUTURE pig research must be conducted with greater co-operation to provide meaningful results.

Speaking on the eve of the Pig and Poultry Fair, Cotswold Pig Developments director of science and genetics, John Webb, said MAFF provided about £3.5m funding, with a further £0.8m sourced from producer levies.

"More funding is needed," said Dr Webb. But first there had to be a refocusing of research to ensure it met objectives that would increase the competitiveness of the pig industry.

Dr Webb used Cotswolds link with Wye College as an example of how future research might benefit from greater co-operation.

"Cotswold now has a research base at Wye College. In effect they are our landlords and we have access to their facilities. In return we can then provide a base for post-graduate research using pigs with top genetics.

"To ensure that results gained provide the producer with the maximum benefits, the herd will be managed under a commercial regime that has a disease profile akin to those found on many UK farms" he added.

lFull report from the Pig and Poultry Fair next week. &#42