IPPC And Last Minute Nerves...

by 5m Editor
20 April 2007, at 9:11am

UK - In April Pig World pig-keepers were advised to contact Nigel Penlington at BPEX if they had concerns about the Environment Agency’s hunt for IPPC dodgers.

This has prompted a spate of calls, particularly from people with around 350 sows who are well below the IPPC 750-sow threshold, but may be uncomfortably close to the threshold of 2,000 finishing places for pigs over 30 kilos.

Consultants Pork Chain Solutions have been warning for two years that producers should check how many finishers they will have on the farm if national herd productivity continues to improve.

Nigel Penlington has been giving advice geared to each caller’s circumstances, but some general points arise.

  1. The Pork Chain Solutions table below (taken from its website) helps producers determine whether they will breach the 2,000-pigs-over-30kg threshold.
  2. Producers who are likely to breach the threshold (perhaps because they decide to finish to heavier weights) have a choice – to join IPPC, or to reduce their sow herd, or to handle some of the growers/finishers differently.
  3. If you are keen to expand pig production over the next few years but are not currently breaching the IPPC thresholds, you will be able to apply for an IPPC permit in an orderly fashion when the time is right for you.
  4. If you are approaching retirement and are not thinking of expansion you may want to think about reducing your number of sows, or selling some of the pigs as weaners, or bed-and-breakfasting some, or finishing some outside.
  5. If you are quite clearly breaching the IPPC thresholds now, you should seek an IPPC permit without delay. Call Barney Kay or Nigel Penlington for advice.
  6. Pigs that are finished outside do not count towards the 2,000 threshold. Therefore some producers are considering tents and/or Cosikennel-type solutions. But remember that outdoor accommodation will not be seen as genuine outdoor accommodation if it is static and has permanent services. Play a straight bat.
  7. Outdoor finishing of a percentage of pigs will provide an opportunity to add value.
  8. If you are close to the IPPC 2000-pig threshold, think about the effect of an abattoir rolling your pigs, or of a Defra-imposed movement restriction. Although a court would be unlikely to convict, you would in theory be operating illegally.
Calculated herd size at various levels of productivity for a breeding and feeding unit to meet the current IPPC threshold of 2,000 finishing pig places
Number of weeks accommodation from 30kgs to finish
11 12 13 14 15
18 525 481 444 413 385
20 473 433 400 371 347
22 430 394 364 338 315
24 394 361 333 310 289
26 364 333 308 286 267
The threshold is based on the number of pig places, not actual stock numbers, for pigs over 30kgs, and in the above calculations the number of weeks of available accommodation has been used to express this. For a given situation this will be determined by growth rate, sale weight, and resting time between batches.

5m Editor