Click here for a step-by-step guide on how the scheme works
A. The Antibiotic Reduction Plan needs to be completed with the vet at the next quarterly vet visit at the latest. For example, if you enter your Q1 eMB data six weeks into Q2 (by the deadline) and you’re categorised as a persistent high user on that report, you will need to do the ARP with your vet at or before your Q3 vet visit if they have already visited in Q2. If your Q2 visit is still to take place, the ARP must be done at that visit (or before). Remember, you must use the Pig Health & Welfare Council antibiotic reduction plan template. You won’t be penalised if you remain a persistent high user, but you do need to show progress against the reduction plan.
A. All sites included within a membership are required to meet all of the Pigs Standards. This means all sites within a membership must have their own fallen stock storage to comply with the requirement that fallen stock is stored in a way that prevents access by vermin and other animals, and ensures any effluent is contained within locked containers.
A. At least one person on the unit who is responsible for overseeing medicines must have taken appropriate training, either online or in-person. Courses completed between 1st January 2018 and 31st October 2021 do not need to be from our approved list. As long as the content of the course included the use of veterinary medicines it is acceptable, including courses that are focused on other livestock species. Completing the Safe Use of Vet Medicines module offered as part of the AHDB Stockperson Development Scheme is also acceptable. You will need to show a certificate of course attendance or completion to the assessor.
If you completed a training course before January 2018, or, haven’t yet done one, you will need to undergo training and must choose a course from our approved list.
A. All pig units, including outdoor units, must undertake an annual risk assessment of tail biting risk factors, even if there is no history of tail biting on the unit, if pigs coming onto the unit are already docked or pigs are reared with full tails. Units rearing docked pigs (regardless of whether you dock the pigs yourself or receive them docked) must produce an action plan outlining measures the farm is taking to minimise the risk of tail biting and the need for docking, e.g. trailing lower stocking densities, replenishing enrichment more frequently, seeking advice from a ventilation consultant. This is different to the vice action plan in the Veterinary Health Plan which must outline actions to be taken when a tail biting outbreak occurs, e.g. remove biter pig, spray affected tails.
A. The purpose of this requirement is to control the entry of vehicles onto the site to limit the spread of disease. The markers need to be visible at vehicle entry points into the overall site biosecure area, not the specific internal biosecure areas within. The standard is not prescriptive about what the visible markers should be or say – members are free to use whatever works for them, as long as it is clear to drivers that they are entering the site biosecure area.
A. Yes, nightlights can be used during the dark period as the overall light levels would be below 40 lux.
A. The standard requires that if feed hoppers are accessible to birds, measures must be in place to minimise contamination of feed stored in the hopper (not the trough/pan). Measures may include use of hopper covers, but members may use other measures instead. If you can demonstrate that the buildings are sufficiently bird-proofed, meaning birds are not able to access the feed hoppers, then the standard is being met. This standard has been introduced with Trichinella-controlled housing conditions in mind, which place a lot of emphasis on preventing contamination of feed and limiting bird access.
A. Established by AHDB, the charter is an email alert system to provide producers and their vets with timely email alerts in the event of an outbreak of Swine Dysentery or Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus (PEDv). All pig members are required to sign up to the charter as of 1 November 2021. If you are not already signed up, you can do so through your PigHub account or by emailing Pig.Health@ahdb.org.uk.
More information about the Charter, is available here.
You can find answers to questions you might have about the Significant Diseases Charter here
A. If pigs have no outdoor access on your farm, and all farms you source pigs from (if any) declare on their movement licences that they are applying controlled housing conditions, you may declare that your unit is controlled housing. If any of your supplying farms declare they are NOT applying controlled housing, you cannot declare you are applying controlled housing even if your unit is a fully enclosed indoor unit. If your unit is an outdoor breeding unit and piglets are weaned into indoor facilities or moved to another unit on average at or before 5 weeks of age, you may declare that your unit is applying controlled housing. If growing pigs over 5 weeks of age (excluding boars and sows) have outdoor access on your unit, your vet will need to apply the FSA risk assessment tool and the score will indicate whether your unit can be considered controlled housing or not.
Further clarity as to the definition of ‘outdoor access’ is being sought from the Food Standards Agency and further guidance will be issued. Your designated vet should be able to advise you as to whether you need to undergo the FSA risk assessment or not.
A. The Human Slaughter Association advises that correct cleaning and maintenance of captive-bolt equipment is essential to ensure that all animals are effectively stunned. Lack of regular maintenance can significantly reduce bolt velocity and the efficiency of stunning. The HSA advises that captive-bolt stunners should be dismantled, cleaned and lubricated after use, even if they are employed only a few times a day, or even less frequently. Back-up equipment should also be regularly serviced, even if it has not been used. You are advised to check and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cleaning and maintenance.