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A vision of pig production in the UK

  • J. Carr (a1)

Preamble

While preparing to write a vision of pig production in the UK, the fragility of crystal ball gazing became apparent, when in February 2001, the nightmare scenario of Foot and Mouth disease broke. The problem appears to have started on a pig farm using swill feed in Northumberland and within weeks, primarily associated with the farmer's failure to report a problem and legal but uncontrolled sheep movement, Foot and Mouth Disease spread throughout the West of England, Wales and the South West of Scotland as well as closing a major slaughterhouse for adult pigs. The disease then spread into continental Europe, causing instant havoc to export markets for the UK and then over the whole of the European Union. Had the problem prevented Denmark from exporting globally for any period, this would have resulted in severe price depression in pig production in Europe. And all this in the year following East Anglia's savaging with Classical Swine Fever.

The Foot and Mouth epidemic in the UK is likely to have a long term impact on the country's export capabilities; already there are threats of five year bans from countries like the United States of America. Much will depend on whether natural wildlife, such as deer, have become infected and how effective we are at finding carrier animals.

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BSAP Occasional Publication
  • ISSN: 0263-967X
  • EISSN: 2053-5953
  • URL: /core/journals/bsap-occasional-publication
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