Farmers in the UK’s “pig belt,” which stretches across the east of England, are facing drought conditions following two dry winters and little prospect of rain in the near future, according to reports.
Declaring a state of drought earlier in the year than ever before, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has urged pig farmers to take action to reduce their consumption of water while ensuring their animals have enough. “Drought is already an issue this year with the South East, Anglia and other parts of the UK now officially in drought, and more areas are likely to be affected as we continue to experience a prolonged period of very low rainfall," said Spelman after speaking with farmers, water companies and wildlife groups about the drought. “It is not just the responsibility of government, water companies and businesses to act against drought. We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”
A spokesman for the British Pig Executive said that maintaining appropriate water supplies to pigs is a crucial part of pig husbandry and welfare. "Given the current concerns over droughts and lack of rainfall, producers are urged to remain vigilant and avoid waste,” said the spokesman. He also urged pig farmers to ensure their water troughs and drinker nipples were operating properly, especially on outdoor units, and where practically possible to conserve any rain water from buildings to reduce the demand on clean water supplies.