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    Harper Forum report: Bob Stevenson and Chris Dodds

    Posted 29 March 2016

    Bon Stevenson

    Harper Forum report – student Tom Whittaker reviews the final events of the Spring term. 

    "Earlier in March we welcomed Bob Stevenson, one of the most highly respected pig experts in the country. His talk, ‘Veterinary Care: Learning from the past- looking to the future’ was highly relevant to veterinary nurses and agriculture students with an interest in pig production.

    "Bob Stevenson is a practising vet, having qualified in 1966, and is consultant to the British Pig Association, President of the Pedigree Welsh Pig Society and also assesses farmers and students for various agricultural and medicine awards.

    "He spoke about the opportunities and challenges for all, including the changing role of vets, who are becoming increasingly specialised on one species.  He also spoke about how climate change might affect livestock health, antibiotic resistance and how prevention is better than cure.

    "The following week we welcomed Chris Dodds of the Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) to speak about ‘The importance of Livestock Auction Marts within the UK livestock industry’. 

    "There are 152 livestock auction marts in the UK, with a turnover of £2.2 billion, selling more than 12 million sheep and 1.6 million cattle, as well as a small volume of pigs. As well as the sale of livestock, the LAA sells vehicles, machinery, and fine art and provides land agency, finance and valuation services. 

    "Mr Dodds outlined how auction markets were changing to become multi-million pound agri-food and rural business centres, which are working for the benefit of farmers. Overall, the future of livestock markets appears to be bright with the majority of store and breeding stock still being sold this way.

    "We have had another successful term with a wide range of interesting speakers, who we would like to thank for giving up their time to speak to us. We would also like to thank all of the students who have attended the forum this term.

    "Next term we will welcome representatives from Nidera, Lloyds Bank and Promar International."

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