DAERA Management Notes: Pigs

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eMB-Pigs: If eMB-Pigs is not a term you are familiar with now you soon will be. It stands for Electronic Medicine Book-Pigs and last month Red Tractor announced you will have to use the eMB-Pigs to record antibiotic usage from this autumn.

By the 1 November total antibiotic usage on your unit for the previous two quarters will have to be uploaded to the eMB. This means you need to start preparing for this now as the two quarters are 1 April to 30 June and 1 July to 30 September.

At this stage you do not have to use the eMB as a medicine book for recording pig treatments and medicines purchased although you can if you wish. You can still use the book you are currently using to record this information. It is only the total antibiotic usage that has to be uploaded for each quarter.

Access to the eMB-Pigs is through the Pig Hub (www.pighub.org.uk). The first time you access the Pig Hub you will have to register, but this a very simple process requiring only your email address and UK pig holding number.

You may think this is another job to do and not bother doing it but it is a very important development for the industry. Deidre McIvor, NI Pork and Bacon Forum, who has been closely involved in the UK initiative on behalf of NI producers says: “The eMB-Pigs database is one of the most important developments for the future of our industry. While Red Tractor is making it a requirement, the database will also be used to set targets for our industry. Holland, Denmark and Germany have already medicine recording systems in place. To protect our industry producers need to get logged on via the web and start uploading data.”

Lots of good practical information about the eMB-Pigs and how to upload data, including quick guides and videos, is available through the AHDB Pork website (https://emb-pigs.ahdb.org.uk/).

Worm workshop

Have you been to a workshop on worm control yet? CAFRE through the Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme is organising workshops on worm and respiratory control at various venues throughout NI. As well as picking up plenty of practical tips on how to reduce the level of worms in your pig herd attendance at a workshop may entitle you for funding through the EU Exceptional Adjustment Aid Package, provided your vet confirms the presence of worms in your herd. It is proposed this funding will cover the cost of worm medication for sows as well as growing and finishing pigs. If you have not yet been to a workshop please enrol through the CAFRE website (www.cafre.ac.uk). Select Industry support, FFKS and enrol for a workshop at a venue that suits you.

Do you know that .....

Worm eggs are covered in a sticky protective coat which means, under the right conditions, they can live for many years, perhaps as many as 15!

Due to the sticky nature of the egg it is very difficult to wash them away when cleaning and disinfecting!

The adult female worm can lay half to one million eggs per day.

The adult worm, which can be up to 40 cm long, lives in the small intestine!

You should treat your sows with worm medication one to two weeks before you move them to the farrowing house NOT when they are in the farrowing house!

If you attend a worm control workshop you will learn a lot more about worms, their effect on pig performance and more importantly how to control them!