All sectors of the British pig industry have linked up together with responsible animal welfare bodies and farm assurance organizations to form a multi-industry expert group focusing on the issues of emerging diseases, food safety, health and animal welfare, according to a spokesman for the British Pig Executive, which hosted the group's inaugural meeting on January 12.

“We now have a panel of experts, including processors, large-scale producers and professional crisis management officials, in place to respond to the threat of emerging diseases, food scares, health issues and animal welfare challenges with honest and factual answers and action,” said the spokesman. “We all realized it was important have contingency plans in place in case the slurry hits the fan."

The first point of contact for the group is British Pig Executive head of communications Andrew Knowles, who will be able to mobilize the whole of the panel in the event of an emergency.