Blog: Keeping busy in the health and welfare team

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Heather Freeguard is an intern working in the health and welfare team. In our latest blog, she tells us what she's been getting up to since joining AHDB last year.

While writing has never been my forte, since I joined AHDB in August last year I seem to have written, written and then written some more. Ironic though it is, writing is actually how I learn best, so I am building up an encyclopaedia of knowledge about the pork sector.

African Swine Fever

Most recently, I’ve been following the impact of African Swine Fever (ASF) as the disease sweeps through Europe and China. I have helped produce a poster aimed at abattoir workers, showing the clinical signs of the disease, which can be used during training and put on the wall for quick reference. I have also helped to collate information about wild boar, so, if you are in the Forest of Dean, keep an eye out for some posters reminding visitors not to feed the animals.

Pig Health Scheme

As 2019 will no doubt be a rollercoaster of a ride for the industry, what with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, I have good news about some exciting projects in which I have been fortunate to be involved. One of these is the Pig Health Scheme, the successor to the British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS), which you may know is now in operation. I have been communicating the latest information to members, vets and abattoirs through emails and articles, as well as planning the abattoir assessment dates. I have also attended two of the veterinary assessor training days, which have been valuable in helping me understand conditions in the abattoir and how they are scored. It’s been great to be involved with this project, as it is such an invaluable tool to the industry.


Another key project I am working on is the website. As part of the process of moving from our current Pork site to the new cross-sector one, I am reviewing the existing site, and revamping and updating it to ensure the information is current and relevant. While this is a work-in-progress, you can find a wide variety of information and news on the new website, along with a brand new events portal, which means you can search for events taking place near you. Why not have a browse?

African Swine Fever lairage poster

African Swine Fever abattoir poster