BPEX's R&D centre at Stotfold to close

The British pig industry research and development centre at Stotfold is to close and the final two staff members have been made redundant.

The British pig industry research and development centre at Stotfold is to close and the final two staff members have been made redundant.

The UK Pig Industries Development Unit, just outside Stotfold in Bedfordshire, was opened by Lord Belstead, minister of state (Lords), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods in November 1984.

At its peak the unit employed 10 staff and had 300 sows farrow to finish. However major changes in the industry and a fundamental shift in the strategy of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) meant it was no longer needed and over the last six months has been gradually wound down.

The final piece of research work was completed in May 2007, part of the Defra LINK £3.5m weaner research programme.

Stotfold's part was to look at weaner diets that maximised the use of home-grown cereals and oilseeds. To the end, the stock performed excellently with weaning to slaughter growth rates of 740g/day and grower to slaughter in excess of 1050g/day.

BPEX director of Pig Industry Development Mark Wilson said: "Stotfold has been a huge asset to the industry over the years and we are sad to see it go. BPEX has been exploring the redevelopment of the site and planning permission is being applied for."

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