First pan-European UKAS accredited welfare standard raises the bar for pig welfare

9 May 2018, at 12:00am

In a first for pig welfare, UK-based continental meats supplier Winterbotham Darby gains accreditation for their Winterbotham Darby European Farm Partnership (EFP) pig module

The European Farm Partnership brings together farmers, suppliers, industry partners and retailers and lays the foundation for the standard.

It is the only accredited standard of its kind for Europe and covers the entire supply chain; breeding, rearing, finishing, transport and slaughter. Fundamentally the standard is for higher welfare systems and takes into account health and welfare factors such as free farrowing, increased space and a stimulating environment. The standard covers antibiotic usage and medicine, feed, veterinary procedures, biosecurity and pest control. As a result, those farms audited against the Pig module (in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Germany) will meet or exceed current UK supermarket or retail requirements.

An extensively and thoroughly researched document, the standard was written by animal welfare specialists at Winterbotham Darby, then presented to a technical working group. Following sign off there were desk-based reviews and on-farm audits by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The UKAS-accredited EFP Pig module (UKAS ISO/IEC 17065:2012), will be audited by certification body KIWA Agri Food, on behalf of Winterbotham Darby.

David Houghton, Technical Director for Winterbotham Darby says:

“Through a collaborative effort, working with our supply partners, farmers, retailers and NGOs we’ve now produced the first pig welfare standard of its kind. It can be implemented across the whole of Europe, taking into consideration the different production systems. It is a tiered system which we can use to encourage farmers to continually improve their standards. This is a fantastic accomplishment, not just for us, but also a step forward in pig welfare.”

Ian Burton, General Manager of Kiwa Agri Food said:

"I am really delighted that Kiwa Agri Food has achieved this well deserved accreditation to certify the Pig module for Winterbotham Darby's European Farm Partnership Animal Welfare Scheme. It reflects our ambition to facilitate ever higher standards in the sector and advance animal welfare across Europe."

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