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Vet responds to Prime Minister's pig cull comments
The NPA is calling on the government to introduce temporary visas for butchers.
Duncan Berkshire says the remarks are "enormously disappointing". 

A Yorkshire pig vet has responded to comments made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the national pig cull.

It comes as the National Pig Association (NPA) confirms that culling has started at a ‘handful of farms’ and warns that the situation could become more widespread. 

A combination of Brexit, COVID-19 and abattoir staffing shortages are being cited as the main reasons why adult pigs are not being slaughtered quickly enough.

When pressed on the issue by Tom Newton Dunn from Times Radio, Mr Johnson asked the reporter whether he had ever eaten a bacon sandwich, adding: “Those pigs, when you ate them, were not alive. I’ve got to break it to you.”

Vet Duncan Berkshire, who is reported by BBC News to be liaising with Defra over the overcrowding issue, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that he found the comments "enormously disappointing". 

"He is unable to see the difference between what we have as a UK supply chain...[and] the absolute abhorrent food wastage that will be the case if we end up having to shoot healthy pigs,” he said. 

“In every other way [the pigs] would be fit for everyone to eat, but we are just going to end up having to put them in a skip and send them for incineration.”

"It's distressing enough just having to start planning for that absolute wastage.”

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said she is aware of around 600 farmers who have already had to cull some pigs.

"There has been no mass culling yet – although I do believe this is the next stage in the process. As you can imagine this is hugely difficult for the farmers involved and to date, none are willing to speak to the press about it," she said. 

NPA chairman Rob Mutimer added: “There are now producers actively euthanising piglets - they have run out of room. They are tending to euthanise the younger ones and get the older ones away as they can.” 

To help ease the backlog, the NPA is calling on the government to introduce temporary visas for butchers to increase capacity in pork plants and for retailers to prioritise British pork over pork imported from the EU.

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RCVS Fellowship applications open

News Story 1
 Applications have now opened for RCVS Fellowship 2022. The RCVS is encouraging anyone who would like to be considered for Fellowship to apply, and if successful, they will be welcomed into the Fellowship next year.

The process for joining the fellowship has changed slightly for this year, as applicants will now need two signed referee forms instead of three professional references, and five assessors will review each application instead of three.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, and more information on how to apply can be found here. If applicants have any questions, or would like informal advice from previous successful applicants, they are encouraged to contact Ceri Via Email 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.