Egg producer who lost 192,000 hens in AI cull to share story at BFREPA Live
2nd October 2023
This year’s BFREPA Live event will feature Scottish egg producer James Baxter, who will talk about the harsh realities of dealing with bird flu, having lost his entire flock of nearly 200,000 hens to a mandatory cull following a positive test in January.
Mr Baxter, who farms near Stranraer and is also the chairman of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), has been confirmed as one of the keynote speakers at Europe’s largest free range egg show, taking place on Wednesday 15th November at the Telford International Centre.
His honest and open talk will cover his avian influenza journey, from losing an entire flock, to how he sees his business recovering, as well as the lessons learnt.
Mr Baxter’s talk will be just one of several discussions throughout the day, including a panel on AI vaccination, hosted by BFREPA CEO Robert Gooch with APHA’s Gordon Hickman, Dave Hodson from Rosehill Poultry, and Crowshall’s vet Ian Lowery joining as panellists.
A debate will also be held on whether there should be a Great Britain-wide vaccination programme, the pros and cons of having one, and how it might work if it became a reality.
The afternoon programme includes a series of technical presentations, with AD Harvey’s Oliver Harvey giving practical advice on preparing for end of lay, alongside Premier Nutrition’s Ralph Bishop talking about nutritional strategies for extending the laying cycle.
The day will conclude with a talk by Nick Bailey from Joice & Hill, covering the latest in genetics and breeding developments, as well as the benefits of breeding white hens.
Kate Dickinson, BFREPA events manager, said: “BFREPA Live’s speakers will offer an insight from all aspects of the free range egg sector, from the producer in the shed, to the officials making decisions on behalf of the whole industry.
“We believe that we’ve struck a great balance between the two, and that those in attendance will learn something valuable to take back to their farms.”
BFREPA Live 23 has been reformatted into a one-day show featuring a sold-out exhibition and the Free Range Awards dinner taking place on the same evening.
The awards dinner, which will be hosted by comedian Al Murray, will have a record number of attendees, with over 600 people already booked to attend the evening.
Tickets are on sale at www.bfrepa.co.uk and are open to anyone with an interest in egg production.