The final line-up of guests visiting RUMA’s ‘drop-in antibiotics clinic’ over the two days of the Pig and Poultry Fair (15-16 May at Stoneleigh) has been confirmed.
A dozen specialists across the pig, gamebird and poultry sectors will be spending between one and two hours each manning the ‘clinic’, which is located on the RASE stand (stand 290). They will be on hand to answer questions about responsible use of antibiotics and how vets and producers can reduce, refine or replace use.
Appearing both days are poultry vets Isy Manning from Poultry Health Services, and Christian Blake-Dyke from Hipra. Aaron Patel, head of public affairs from the British Egg Industry Council will also have slots both days, with technical director of the British Poultry Council Maire Burnett doing a stint on day one and Thomas Wornham, chair of the NFU Poultry Board, on day two.
For the pig sector, the National Pig Association’s (NPA’s) senior adviser Dr Georgina Crayford will have a spell on the stand on both days. The NPA’s president Richard Lister and Martin Smith, lead veterinary surgeon for British Quality Pigs/Tulip, will both be present on the first day, with Pig Veterinary Society senior vice president Mark White on the second.
Other specialists with wider remits will pop on to the stand at various times too. AHDB Pork’s veterinary lead Dr Mandy Nevel, who also heads up AHDB’s antibiotic resistance working group, and Professor Mark Fielder of Kingston University, current president of the Society for Microbiology, will both be on the stand on the second day.
Charlotte Wardle from Red Tractor will be present both days as well to help explain the new Red Tractor rules, and RUMA’s chair Gwyn Jones is manning the stand at lunchtime on the opening day.
Dr Crayford from NPA says: “One of the biggest tasks facing the pig sector over the next couple of years will be in reducing the burden of endemic disease, including PRRS and Streptococcus suis, in order to further reduce reliance on antimicrobials.
“Whilst this will be no mean feat, the increased collaboration between farmers and vets that will be necessary to achieve this, plus the innovations in pig health products that will arise, provide excellent opportunities to improve the health of the national pig herd.”
Red Tractor’s Charlotte Wardle adds: “Over the past 12 months, Red Tractor has taken significant steps to strengthen farm standards and ensure they are fit for purpose. Going forward, our biggest challenge is in ensuring that these standards are met 365 days of the year – hence the RUMA stand provides a great opportunity to talk to producers about protecting the integrity of the Red Tractor logo.”
Chair of RUMA, Gwyn Jones, says all livestock sectors have set themselves big challenges for antibiotic reduction/refinement and replacement over the next three years.
“While some are further ahead than others in terms of reductions, maintaining lower levels of antibiotic use can be just as hard as reducing in the first place, and that’s why events like the Pig and Poultry Fair offer a unique chance to air issues and share problems as well as successes,” he says.
“We hope people will feel they can pop on to the stand and chat with whichever expert is there at the time.”