A state-of-play report on the UK pig sector has included professional development and human wellbeing among six key themes for a successful pig industry future.
The future themes laid out by the Pig Health and Welfare Council’s (PHWC) biennial report as an industry vision to 2030 are:
- Partnership working with those in the pig industry and other farm animal sectors
- Maintain and extend disease surveillance
- Reduce, control or eliminate endemic disease, including those with food safety implications, with the aim of reducing the need to use antibiotics
- Use of data and new technologies
- Give evidence that all production systems provide for physical and mental wellbeing
- Promote professional skills
A review of 2017 and 2018, the report underlines the success of UK farms in reducing antibiotics use by a further 16% on 2017 levels to 110mg/PCU (population corrected unit).
But PHWC chairman Jane Downes said further progress on antibiotics reduction was needed to hit the 2020 target of 99mg/PCU.
Unveiling the report to farmers at the 161st Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate on 9 July, Dr Downes said: “The council recognises that many of the challenges faced by the industry in 2017 and 2018 will continue to be of importance in 2019 and 2020, including the threat of disease, welfare issues, zoonotic diseases and antibiotics resistance.”
Dr Downes said the PHWC report discusses achievements during 2017 and 2018, including:
- Exercise Trent: A porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus contingency plan
- Work on African swine fever
- Work on livestock-associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA)
- A programme on hepatitis E
- Involvement in Defra’s revised code of practice for pig welfare