25th November 2015

Scottish SPCA Recognition of Commitment to Welfare in Scottish Pig Industry

The exceptional commitment of one individual, who has championed the importance of animal welfare in the Scottish pig industry over the past 25 years, has been recognised by the Scottish SPCA.

Gordon McKen, who has held several key roles during his career in the Scottish pig industry, was presented with a Scottish SPCA 3rd Century medal by Stuart Earley, the charity’s Chief Executive in recognition of his focus on pig welfare.

During the presentation of the award, Mr Earley said colleagues in the pig industry were right to describe Mr McKen as a “national treasure”.

“In 2009 the Scottish SPCA launched its welfare assured scheme for Scottish pigs in conjunction with QMS and one of the driving forces in making this a reality was Gordon McKen,” said Mr Earley.

“Gordon is someone who has focused on animal welfare throughout his career and the Scottish SPCA is delighted to award him its third century medal in recognition of his services to animal welfare in Scotland.”

Mr McKen is currently Director of Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre, having recently retired from the position of Chief Executive of Scottish Pig Producers.

He has also been a Quality Meat Scotland board member and was very involved in the early development and continued growth of quality assurance in the Scottish pig industry. This included working very closely with QMS on the award-winning Specially Selected Pork approved by the Scottish SPCA initiative.

Mr McKen said he was very proud of what the Scottish pig industry has achieved, both in driving forward the health status and welfare of pigs, primarily through the industry’s quality assurance scheme.

“There have been challenges along the way, particularly in terms of the profitability of pig production in Scotland compared with other parts of the world where welfare is less of a consideration,” said Mr McKen.

“However, it has been a very rewarding journey to be part of. I am confident there are real opportunities ahead for the industry in Scotland and delighted to receive this award on behalf of the industry.”

Sign up for the latest news and views