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Producers Urged to Join Welfare Debate

05 April 2013

UK - Producers and the wider supply chain are being urged to join the welfare debate after it was identified as the top issue affecting the UK pig industry in a survey of visitors to previous Pig & Poultry Fair and Pig & Poultry LIVE events.

Developing this opportunity and focusing on the direction that welfare should take in the UK will be one of the key discussions at this year's Pig & Poultry LIVE at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire on 15 May 2013.

The one-day business event, organised by the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE) in partnership with ABN is now well established in the interim years between the biennial Pig & Poultry Fair, and will bring together leading figures in agriculture, retail and animal health and welfare in a challenging debate 'Welfare; science or perception, what's our future?' chaired by Martin Redfearn, Head of Barclays Agriculture.

In an opening address, Ed Garner, Kantar Worldpanel communications director, will present a unique insight into shopper's behaviour when it comes to purchasing food products from the pig and poultry sectors. A distinguished panel will then set out their own view of the welfare agenda and debate with delegates how it should shape the future of UK production.

Speakers Andrea Gavinelli, head of animal welfare at the European Commission and RSPCA's head of farm animals, Julia Wrathall will enable producers to engage directly with policy makers, and the scheme that covers 17.8 million layers, 40 million broilers and 2.7 million pigs in the UK, according to Freedom Food.

Morrison's head of agriculture, David Evans, will explain its own stance on welfare and how it plans to addresses the issue in the future and NFU president, Peter Kendall, will give his views on and what the next steps for the sectors should be.

Scientific expertise from Sandra Edwards, professor of agriculture at Newcastle University and leading poultry veterinarian, Stephen Lister, from Crowshall Veterinary Services completes a unique speaker line up and guarantees a valuable debate.

"Welfare is on the agenda for the farmer, the consumer and the politician," said Angela Booth, ABN technical development and assurance director.

"Often there is tension between what consumers say they want and what producers think will actually benefit their livestock's welfare. Finding the correct balance in this debate with so many dimensions and perspectives is crucial for our industry."

David Gardner, RASE chief executive, said pig and poultry producers needed to supply consumers with safe, tasty, affordable food; and collectively the industry must find ways to tackle the related issues.

"We want British producers to succeed in the long term, so finding answers to questions of future policy, competition and costs, and communication with consumers is vital.

"This discussion will help focus the industry's minds on what direction welfare should take in the UK and how it can help deliver on it," he added.

Combined with the new format afternoon session on attracting, developing and retaining the best people; Pig & Poultry LIVE is the business event of the year which producers and the wider industry cannot afford to miss.

To book your place at this year Pig & Poultry LIVE, visit

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