Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Pig unit opens gates to medical experts
RUMA chair Gwyn Jones said that engaging with the medical VIPs was a ‘wholly positive experience’.

NPA responds to calls for ban on preventative antibiotics

A pig unit in Bedford recently opened its gates to a group of high-profile medics to address concerns about antibiotic use in the sector.

Bedfordia farm’s pig unit is home to some 1,000 breeding sows located on two breeding farms - Arnoe Farm and Highfields farm.

The visit was organised by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) alliance and the National Pig Association (NPA) in response to a letter signed by notable people from the medical profession last year.

The letter directed to the health and defra secretaries of state called for an immediate ‘UK-wide ban on the routine preventative mass medication of animals’. The NPA says the invite to see how pig farming works in practice was a ‘chance to set the record straight’.

"We took them to a large commercial high hygiene unit and while this would be exactly the type of set-up that the ASOA (Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics) would seek to portray as high antibiotic users (indoor fully slatted weaners and finishers),” commented NPA chief executive Zoe Davies. “It was absolutely spotless, very impressively run and a huge credit to the staff.”

RUMA chair Gwyn Jones said that engaging with the medical VIPs was a ‘wholly positive experience’. The visit took the group - which included Dame Sally Davies -  through farrowing to weaning, service and pregnant sows.

The visitors were shown around the family farming business’ newer housing and gadgets. They also saw farrowing crates, older buildings with ACNV systems, and groups of squealing, pregnant sows jostling over automatic feeders.

According to the NPA, Bedfordia farm’s pig unit is a below-average user of antibiotics and has managed to reduce antibiotic use by 80 per cent since 2015. The unit is representative of many pig farms today: a range of new and old technologies, varying infrastructure and its own particular challenges, it adds. 

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
AWF named charity of the year

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) has been chosen as charity of the year by the Veterinary Marketing Association (VMA). AWF is a vet-led charity, supported by the BVA, which aims to improve animal welfare though research funding, supporting veterinary education, providing pet care advice and encouraging debate on welfare issues.

VMA has pledged a range of support, including raising awareness and funds at their awards ceremony, which takes place on Friday 16 March, as well as offering marketing support through VMA marketing workshops.