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First conference puts focus on secure future

The inaugural conference held by Trusted Game, the bird welfare scheme run by vets, emphasises the need for ‘forward-looking force’.

Trusted Game, the gamebird health and welfare scheme set up and run by vets for the benefit of the game sector and officially launched in 2022, held its first conference on 7 and 8 February. 

Titled “Towards a Secure Future”, the event was held at the prestigious long gallery at Englefield Estate, by kind permission of Lord Benyon. He closed the meeting by urging everyone to work together to constantly evolve and improve standards, and present an unassailable, united, forward-looking force to government and regulators. 

A diverse audience packed the venue to hear presentations from international speakers as well as home-grown experts. Difficult topics were not shied away from, neither were complex issues such as worldwide supply chains and how they affect prices, production systems and import of eggs and birds from the EU and the USA. Biosecurity and biosecure thinking were also covered, as was the urgent need for reducing antibiotic use. With speakers drawn from all the main shooting organisations, as well as vets, feed manufacturers and government organisations, panels faced lively debate. 

Trusted Game evolved in response to requests for a practical, pragmatic and cost-effective evidence-based audit and advisory scheme, which can embrace the many diverse systems and management practices in gamebird rearing and releasing. It is available via most of the main gamebird vet practices across the country as part of their service. Designed to accessible to all, from the small farm shoot to commercial enterprises, and all types of game farm, it is quickly proving a hit. 

Tom Welham, managing director of Marsdens Game Feeds, told ST: “The Trusted Game conference was a fantastic start for a great initiative that pulled together the entire shooting industry to address the importance of self-regulation and assurance. This is vitally important for the longevity of our industry and helps demonstrate the hugely beneficial role gamekeepers and farmers have in the UK countryside. 

“We look forward to building on the conference and helping Trusted Game go from strength to strength,” he added. 

The scheme standards are based on real-world sector-specific data collected and analysed through 2020 and 2021 across many sites by the vets involved. It is dovetailed with known research data and developed around Defra codes of practice. It was tested and critiqued with input from game farmers and gamekeepers, to ensure workability and practicality. More information can be found at, or simply ask your vet.