Important changes to pig traceability rules
THE Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has announced important changes to the rules on pig traceability. The changes will take effect from 19 March 2012.
DARD has now revised the rules for the registration of pig holdings and the identification and movement of pigs. This is in line with Better Regulation, and supports the Aujeszky’s disease status.
The main changes are that pig keepers will:
1. register with DARD before moving pigs, including pet pigs, onto your holding;
2. ensure that all pig premises are registered on the APHIS database, and notify any new premises to DARD before moving pigs on;
3. report any changes to your holding registration details within seven days;
4. notify DARD of pig movements off your holding within seven days;
5. identify all breeding pigs with an eartag;
6. apply eartags printed by a licensed tag supplier with your holding code;
7. replace lost or illegible identification marks within 28 days of discovery and before the pig leaves your holding; and
8. complete and return an annual inventory card showing the number of pigs on your holding.
You should continue to:
· use your current holding code;
· identify pigs born on your holding before they leave, or before they reach 6 months of age, whichever is the earlier;
· identify breeding pigs with your holding code and a unique individual number (you can handwrite the unique individual number);
· identify slaughter pigs (under 6 months of age) moving to a finishing unit on another holding with an eartag, ear tattoo or slapmark bearing your holding code;
· identify slaughter pigs moving direct to slaughter with an eartag, ear tattoo or slapmark bearing your holding code, or with a slapmark bearing your curer mark.
A Guidance Booklet explaining the new system, together with a new Holding Register and a new Movement Document book will be sent to you shortly. You should start using the books when you receive them. In the meantime continue to use your existing books for movements and record keeping.
To help cut down on paperwork the new Movement Document book will replace the three books you use at present. You can also use it to report Food Chain Information (FCI), comply with the welfare of animals in transport rules for short journeys, and record Quality Assurance information.
Further detailed information in the form of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the DARD website at http://www.dardni.gov.uk/pigs-irm or by contacting your DARD Direct Office.
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