Enhancements to Pig identification Rules announced

UK - New legislation enhancing the current pig identification rules is to come into force in England from the beginning of November.
calendar icon 6 August 2003
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The new rules follow a review of the pig identification legislation in the light of the presentation of an unidentified suspect FMD pig at a slaughterhouse in Leicestershire in July 2002.

Following detailed consultation with the pig industry on a package of proposals to improve the existing pig identification rules, Defra will require:

  • all pigs under 12 months moving direct to slaughter; and
  • all pigs under 12 months moving to any destination
to be identified with a slapmark on each shoulder area of the pig. The slapmark must be the herdmark allocated by Defra. As an alternative, pig keepers may identify pigs with an eartag or tattoo containing the Defra herdmark.

However, following representations from the pig industry, the remaining part of the package - to identify pigs with an eartag or tattoo before they leave the holding on which they were born - is still under consideration.

Defra will this week send out letters to all pig keepers in England to outline the new rules.

Any queries on the new rules should be directed to the Livestock Identification Helpline on 0845 050 9876.

Source: DEFRA - 6th August 2003
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