UK - The British poultry industry came together on Tuesday to celebrate the achievements of highly skilled individuals at the British Poultry Council (BPC) Annual Awards at the House of Commons.
BPC Chairman John Reed presented the awards with Mark Spencer MP, with the event kindly sponsored by Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Envrionment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee.
Mr Spencer welcomed the industry’s celebration of excellence and applauded the industry for it’s focus on animal health and welfare, and it’s proactive work on prevention and control of disease.
“I’m delighted to take part in this year’s awards ceremony, and to meet so many outstanding members of the British poultry industry. I fully support the BPC’s recognition of those well-deserving recipients this year. It’s a vibrant industry with many careers and skills opportunities.”
Recognising the unique contributions to the poultry industry of each winner, Mr Reed said: “This year’s winners and their achievements reflect the diversity of the industry. It demonstrates that our industry is much more than people might think; we are a professional and highly skilled industry with a lot to be proud of.”
The BPC Awards recognise long and distinguished careers, contributions to research and potential for future excellence, and those that have supported and made significant contributions to the British poultry industry.
During his speech, Mr Reed noted how the industry had once again proven its resilience and its ability to mobilise in the face of a crisis over the past year. Recent results have shown considerable reductions in campylobacter contamination levels on poultry products and progress on antimicrobial use reduction, whilst Mr Reed praised the response by poultry vets to this year's avian influenza outbreaks.
The impact of an outbreak of avian flu stretches beyond the farm gate, impacting the British poultry industry’s ability to export. The BPC estimate that the three single outbreaks cost the industry circa £50 million from November 2014-August 2015.
Mr Reed acknowledged this year’s special merit award in particular, as it recognised the efforts of the British Veterinary Poultry Association in supporting the industry during the three UK outbreaks.
“The efforts from poultry vets involved in each outbreak of avian influenza to support businesses and individuals cannot be ignored. We wanted to recognise their outstanding contribution to the poultry sector for their guidance in contingency planning and their invaluable knowledge and expertise.”
This year, the BPC presented seven awards to worthy recipients, demonstrating the diversity and the high calibre of people in the British poultry industry.