DAERA Management Notes: Pigs

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Pig Competitiveness Scheme update: If you are one of the 135 producers who successfully applied to the Pig Competitiveness Scheme for worm medication you will now have received your Letter of Offer.

The Letter of Offer states the maximum amount of funding you will receive for worm medication for sows and pigs. It also indicates how much you can spend on injectables. Enclosed with your Letter of Offer is a Letter of Acceptance which you must sign, date and return within 14 days of the date on the Letter of Offer. If you don’t return this to DAERA you will not get any money!

The Scheme allows for two blanket treatments of all sows and gilts six months apart and the individual treatment of sows and gilts seven to ten days before going into the farrowing house. It also covers the cost of worming all pigs three times six weeks apart at approximately 25, 60 and 95kg liveweight. Although this is the recommended treatment programme, discuss with your vet the most effective and practical programme for your herd, as in some cases it may not be necessary to carry out the full programme.

Although the Scheme runs from now to the end of March 2018 you must submit your claim form by 4pm on 1 September 2017. To allow you to do this you need to first of all work out how much wormer, based on the treatment programme for your herd, you will use between now and the end of March. Then forward buy this amount bearing in mind the amount of money on the Letter of Offer is the maximum you can spend through the Scheme. Once you have bought and paid for the wormer the advice is to submit your claim form, along with the original invoice/s and bank statement as soon as possible.

Other important points to note include:

You cannot claim for wormer purchased before the date on the Letter of Offer.

DAERA will not reimburse the cost of VAT.

You can purchase wormer from your vet, feed supplier or independent retailer, provided they are licensed.

Pour-ons are not licensed for pigs and are therefore not funded through the Scheme.

Record the purchase and use of wormer in your medicine book.

Check the withdrawal period of the product you are using for pigs and adhere to it to avoid residues.

Ask your supplier, if possible, to provide a separate invoice showing only the purchase of wormer.

During random inspections by DAERA the inspector will check delivery dockets, scripts, medicine records and may take a sample of feed to check for the inclusion of wormer.

Mobile ramp

There is no doubt the use of a ramp makes the loading of pigs much easier reducing the stress levels of both pigs and the people loading the pigs. However in some yards the position of a fixed ramp may make it difficult to load pigs from certain houses. It was for this reason a South Down producer got a local firm to design and make a mobile ramp which can be moved easily from one house to another using a forklift. In addition to easy movement the height and width of the ramp is adjustable meaning it fits most passage widths and trailers. Four treaded feet allow adjustment of the height and moveable gates at the funnel end of the ramp allows the width to be increased from 1.5m to 2.5m. It is important to note that for journeys over 50km the maximum ramp angle for pigs is 20 degrees.