Castleisland farmer awarded title of ‘EU pig ambassador’

A farmer from Castleisland, Co.Kerry, has been chosen as an ‘EU Pig Ambassador’ after winning the ‘2019 EU PiG Grand Prix’ for his work in community management.

Shane McAuliffe was awarded the title at the annual competition, which aims to identify and share innovative practices in pig production throughout the European network of pig producers, and beyond.

There are eight challenges each year and the European-wide network collates and shares knowledge and best practice to help address them.

There are four key production themes which are identified as the main focus area for pig producers. These are:
  • Health management;
  • Meat quality;
  • Animal welfare;
  • Precision production.

Teagasc, the Irish partner, submitted an application for the ‘opening farms to the public’ challenge which detailed McAuliffe’s commitment to educating the public about pig production.

McAuliffe has an open door policy which welcomes international groups and local students to gain a “valuable insight” into sustainable pig meat production in Ireland.

The high health status of the pig herd means that direct access is not always possible, so visitors are taken up to the viewing room where they can look down onto the pigs, and into each room by live CCTV cameras.

Commenting on the announcement, Ciaran Carroll, head of knowledge transfer at the Teagasc Pig Development Department said: “Congrats to Shane on becoming a EU Pig Ambassador.

This is our second ambassador in three years of the project and it’s great to see Irish farms at the forefront of this broad network, involving 19 organisations from 13 EU member states.

The EU PiG project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.