UK: Consumer perception on pig welfare feared
Pig producers need to embrace the latest science and technology available to them if the industry is to pull itself out of its current financial difficulties and thrive.
Stuart Bosworth, who runs a 270-sow indoor pig unit in Willingale, Essex, said fears over consumer perception to welfare were preventing the industry from making changes which could pull some producers out of financial crisis.
Speaking ahead of the Pig and Poultry LIVE event at Stoneleigh Park on 15 May, where the key issues of welfare and people, both affecting profitability of the pig sector will be discussed. Bosworth said producers had to use the science available to them, especially when it improved efficiency and welfare.
“Allowing vaccinations that will help prevent riding injuries from sexually aggressive finished boar pigs and reduce the problem of boar taint could be a win-win for Red Tractor Assurance” he said.
“Fears about consumer perception to such changes in the standards is the stated reason why pig farmers cannot embrace these new technologies, but most consumers give priority to product cost. It is a strange anomaly we have to find ways to work around.”
- Science and other welfare issues will be discussed at this year’s Pig and Poultry LIVE event, organized by the RASE and partnered by ABN. Tickets are limited and cost £85 +VAT, though discounts are available. For more info: pigandpoultry.org.uk
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