National Swine Registry updates policy on over-ageing purebred pigs

In a letter addressed to all members and stakeholders, the new policy was announced that all breeding animals being exhibited at National Swine Registry events will be exhibited by weight
calendar icon 29 August 2018
clock icon 4 minute read

"At the August Executive Committee Meeting held in West Lafayette, Indiana, the National Swine Registry (NSR) Executive Committee, comprised of members of their respective breeds' board of directors, discussed a topic that has been identified as a challenge for decades. The issue of over-ageing purebred animals was addressed as a serious concern, and considered a long term threat to the sustainability of NSR and the purebred swine industry. After much discussion and thought, the Executive Committee voted to implement a new policy, organisation wide, to address this issue directly.

"This letter is to serve as the official communication regarding the new policy. Despite the spread of misinformation that has occurred in the last few days regarding this policy change, the intent of the Executive Committee has always been to address the membership with honesty and transparency.

"Effective January 1, 2019, all breeding animals exhibited at NSR and NJSA events will be exhibited by weight. This includes all junior and open gilts, as well as boars. The NSR will not be eliminating farrowing date requirements at shows with the change. While the logistics of this action will be highlighted in more detail at a later time, the intent of the change is to correct what is, and has been, a serious problem in the industry. Without technology to accurately determine age and maturity of animals, the new policy's intent is to level the playing field for breeders and junior members alike. The Executive Committee believes that this new policy will allow animals of similar size to be compared and evaluated equally, without the advantage of age at NSR events. Weights, farrowing dates, and weight per day of age (WDA) will be published in show catalogues and when appropriate, used as consideration for judges to make decisions.

"Change is inevitable and often, uncomfortable. As NSR members, you should be aware this policy was not a sudden reaction and not taken lightly. The issue of over-ageing livestock has been discussed for years and on multiple occasions. The National Swine Registry, and its leadership believe it is the association's responsibility and obligation as a leading purebred entity to identify an issue and develop solutions. The integrity of breeds, the animals recorded, and the people who do business with the association are essential.

"If members feel inclined to discuss this policy change or need clarification, we encourage them to visit with their respective Executive Committee members and periodically check NSR information platforms for updates. The intent of this action is two-fold: to insure the long term sustainability of the purebred swine industry and protect the treasured assets of integrity and honesty in our current and future membership."

For more information on the policy change, visit the NSR website here

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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