The head of the British Pig Executive (BPEX), Mick Sloyan, has been presented with a surprise award – the Pig Industry Distinguished Service Award – for his dedicated service to the pig industry.

Presenting the award, the country’s National Pig Association (NPA) chairman, Stewart Houston, said: "The NPA has been keen to acknowledge the huge contribution Mr Sloyan has made to the industry for some time, but he has always heard about it and managed to duck away from it.

“This time he can't! The Pig Industry Distinguished Service Award is a one-off that has been organised entirely without his knowledge and there's nothing he can do about it.”

Mr Houston added: "Mr Sloyan’s position at the head of BPEX has highlighted his strategic thinking helping guide the industry through difficult times; the concept of the first pig strategy, the Road to Recovery, was his and he must take his share of the credit that the industry came through those dark days of the last decade. And he is still here helping to shape the future.”