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hughesy

The BPA.

I've been a member of the British Pig Assoc. for a good few years. I have six registered sows at the moment so it's going to cost me in the region of 80 odd quid I think for next year's membership. Question. What do I get out of it? Ok I birth notify my litters, but I don't sell pedigree stock as weaners or as breeding stock, and I don't show my pigs. It doesn't seem to me that the BPA is doing anything to help the small scale pig farmer at all, especially those like myself who produce pigs for meat. Their website is useless with no up to date news or information, their best efforts in the latest news telling us they've elected some new commitees. I never receive any news or information from the BPA, except when they want money. My customers aren't concerned that their sunday dinner is from registered stock. They are happy that it is reared to a high welfare standard and is local. I think the answer is that I get nothing from the BPA. I think I'm going to stop paying them for the privilege.
chicken feed

Are you using the words Pedigree or saddleback in your meat sales advertisement ?  If you are the stock has be minimal of birth noted which only a BPA member can do. TS and the BPA are clamping down on people selling "pedigree" when its no traceability from birth to slaughter. If you are happy just to sell pork and not pedigree pork or saddleback sausages pork etc then yes you might not be needing membership.
bodger

They've got us by the short and curlies Graham. IMO they do very little for the practical pig keeper, in as much as the emphasis of the organisation seems to be placed on the showing side of pigs, rather the production of meat. The various breed reps as far as I can see, also seem to be from the showing side of things too.

I'd be very upset if someone up the road suddenly started selling GOS pork that wasn't but wonder just what exactly the BPA would do about it.

In the old days, each breed kept their own pedigree book but the BPA got their hands on them way back As you know, they have the sole right to registering pedigree stock and they certainly aren't going to let go of them now. Its a licence to print money.
As Chicken feed will tell you, the British Lop Society is the only one that's retained control over the registering of its own pedigree stock and it would be interesting to know if she feels that it actually saves her any money ?
Because of the situation, IMO unless you actually show pigs, to some extentit sort of makes the various breed clubs a waste of space.
bodger

Taking the subject a little further, I've been giving some thought to using a Welsh or a Large White boar to my GOS sows instead of breeding them pure.
I doubt that I'd get anymore or less for the pork produced but with the hybrid vigour of the first cross, it should mean that the pigs would be ready for slaughter a month or so earlier. That would definitely save me money on my feed bill and another bonus would be that I could stop paying money to the BPA. Its definitely something that I'm thinking about.
chicken feed

As Chicken feed will tell you, the British Lop Society is the only one that's retained control over the registering of its own pedigree stock and it would be interesting to know if she feels that it actually saves her any money ?

For me no I am not really saving money for a couple of reasons one being to show my pigs in BPA competitions i need to be a member of both costing me 55 per year and the lop website is not used as well as it could be so I use other methods to sell stock so I am not using the society for anything other than birth nots and registrations I can't even get meat certs from them they don't do them but i could but stickers stating its lop produce but so could joe bloggs !!. IMO the BPA charges are reasonable if you want to breed and sell pedigree stock and produce.
hughesy

I am aware of the trading standards issues regarding the use of named breeds in labelling and suchlike. I do sometimes use those terms when I'm selling my pork but as Bodger says it wouldn't affect the price if I didn't. In my experience the customer very rarely cares about breed. As far as trading standards and the BPA clamping down? I have fairly regular contact with the local TS and they've never mentioned it. And the BPA would have to come out from under their rock which doesn't look like it will ever happen.
hughesy

Bodger I've just taken the last of a litter of Saddleback x GOS/OSB to slaughter at a few days over 4 months and they're some of the best pork pigs I've ever produced. Crossing definitely has it's uses.
bodger

I'm lead to believe that a modern cross traditional is even more up and at them and ready really early. The Welsh is looked upon as a modern, so that's the cross I'm considering with my GOS.

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