Patrick Lynn, an egg producer from Southwell, Nottinghamshire, has beaten off stiff competition from 28 nominees to win the ‘excellence in the education of farm animal welfare’ category, in RSPCA Assured’s first-ever awards for pig and poultry members.
Patrick – together with his wife, Esther – manages a free-range flock of 43,000 hens on his farm which has been in his family for almost a century. But not only is Patrick dedicated to caring for his hens to the RSPCA’s welfare standards but also educating people about the importance of hen welfare too.
Inspired by his children, Patrick began a programme of inviting local schools and Beaver groups to his farm to experience how hen production works. In 2019, prior to Covid, he hosted 100 visitors for educational purposes, including agricultural students from Nottinghamshire to China.
He impressed an independent panel of judges with his unwavering dedication to education as one of the judges, Andrew Joret, chair of BEIC, the Lion Technical Committee and senior director of The International Egg Commission, explains: “Patrick is outstanding in many fields. Not only is he truly committed to hen welfare but he’s worked incredibly hard over many years hosting educational experiences for schools, colleges, placement students and assisting PHD students working on keel bone damage. He is an overall outstanding candidate and very deserving of his award.”
Commenting on his win, Patrick says, “I am delighted to win this award. As a family, we are very proud of what we have achieved and are keen to share what we have learned about looking after hens to higher welfare standards, with as many people as possible. Covid has, of course, curtailed what we can now do but we are actively looking at how we can continue to educate and inform people online.”
The RSPCA Assured awards are designed to recognise and reward pig, broiler, laying hen and turkey members for achievements in four categories:
Excellence in higher farm animal welfare – going above and beyond the standards and/or expectations to help improve farm animal welfare
Excellence in the education of farm animal welfare – being proactive in engaging and educating others about higher farm animal welfare
Excellence in sustainability and higher farm animal welfare – demonstrating consistent dedication to caring for the environment and animals in general through sustainability efforts
Outstanding contribution – to pig and poultry welfare
Originally planned to be announced at the British Pig and Poultry Trade Fair 2020, the final winners in the other categories are being announced daily throughout this week via the scheme’s website and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
RSPCA Assured hopes to extend its awards programme to the rest of its membership in the near future. You can read more about the awards, Patrick and the other winners and runners up here.