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Brazil's new pig welfare standards establish management practices in commercial production systems

The objective is to guide producers on the best alternatives to promote an increasingly sustainable and competitive pig industry

The rules of good management practices in commercial breeding pig farms for the well-being of animals, was published on Friday (18) in the Official Gazette, according to Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and Secretariat for Agricultural Defense.

The Normative Instruction No. 113 seeks to establish the parameters on which to guide for the production chain and inspection agents.

Brazil is the 4th largest pork producer and exporter, producing 3.963 million tons and exporting 750,000 tons of pork, making Brazil a major global player in the industry, behind only the United States, European Union and Canada in terms of exports. According to the Brazilian Association of Pig Breeders (ABCS), there are currently 1,100 companies that manage the swine farming activity in the country, housing more than 30,000 rural producers.

“Well-being is an essential part of the sustainability of productive activity and directly influences the health of animals. It also contributes to combatting the threat of resistance to antimicrobials because the implementation of good breeding practices produces more robust and immunologically strong animals,” highlights the director of the Animal Health Department, Geraldo Moraes.

The new standard addresses the main points to allow improvement in animal welfare, generating better immune responses and rational use of medicines. The objective is to guide producers on the best alternatives to promote an increasingly sustainable and competitive pig industry, providing a gradual and continuous improvement of production activity.

Another important focus is the additional value to livestock products through the adoption of good practices that are now standardized. Among the evolutions of the production chain, it is proposed to work on more sustainable forms of housing that reduce the stress arising from overcrowding and the lack of activity inherent in the behavior of the species, as well as the establishment of safer health management.

As the regulation also provides for investments in the restructuring of farms, whose expenses will be borne by rural producers, the period granted for these adjustments is 25 years. Thus, the time for depreciation of farms and the amortization of any financial commitments already established are respected.

The new standard is in line with the guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for pig production, providing support for exports and international negotiations, in addition to being in line with national demands on the subject.

The creation of the standard counted on the collaboration of entities in research, representative associations of the pig production sector, technicians, agro-industries, non-governmental animal protection organizations and specialists dedicated to the activities inherent to the management and handling of animals with extensive experience in the application of good practices respecting the requirements related to animal welfare.

Read the government release in Portuguese here.

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