Pig farmers urged to join debate on water quality

Free range pigs at Blythburgh. Picture: James Bass

Free range pigs at Blythburgh. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

East Anglian pig farmers will discuss ways to maintain drinking water quality and safeguard the future of outdoor production during an industry event in Swaffham next week.

The meeting at The George Hotel on Monday has been organised by AHDB Pork, part of the levy-funded Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Speakers will include a representative from Anglian Water to talk about the issues the company is facing, and an officer from the Environment Agency (EA) will highlight the key regulations which farmers must adhere to.

Andrew Palmer, AHDB Pork's knowledge exchange manager for the east, urged the region's pig producers to take part in the discussion.

'The meeting will bring farmers and industry stakeholders together to discuss the issue of maintaining drinking water quality in East Anglia,' he said. 'It's a great opportunity for producers and water companies to start working collaboratively and we believe that together we can help safeguard the future of outdoor production.

'When not managed correctly, farming practices can cause issues for water companies in terms of contaminating drinking water supplies. The meeting will help farmers to understand the issues water companies are facing and will also help them review and learn about farming techniques that will help protect watercourses.

'I really would urge producers in the region to come along to what promises to be an informative afternoon. The aim of this meeting isn't to point the finger – it's about moving forwards and working together to safeguard the future of outdoor pig production.'

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Attendees will also be given the opportunity to discuss their own experiences before receiving practical management tips from the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), and a review of the current resources and support available from AHDB Pork.

The meeting will be held from 2.45pm-5.30pm on Monday, June 27, at The George Hotel in Swaffham. For further event details and to register, contact Andrew Palmer on Andrew.Palmer@ahdb.org.uk or 07976 443454.