What does the new Welfare Code mean for you?

Nov 22, 07:00 AM
In this month’s Pork-focused episode, we’ll be focusing on welfare and looking at what Defra’s updated Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock means in practice for pig keepers. We’ll also be hearing about some of the key highlights from last month’s meetings for small-scale pig keepers and finish with a quick look at the Chinese pig market.

The updated Welfare Code sets out a number of new requirements for pig producers, but for the vast majority, it should not be too onerous. It has not come into force yet; following a 40-day period in parliament, it will be formally approved by a Defra Minister and will come into force 21 days later. This is expected to happen early next year (2020) but a date has not yet been fixed.

The Code can be used by enforcement bodies, including Animal and Plant Health Agency inspectors and local authorities, when investigating allegations of poor welfare, to look at whether animal welfare standards are being met. It applies to England only, although devolved administrations will aim to align their new codes as closely as possible to Defra’s.

There are new elements, notably related to tail docking, enrichment and record keeping, as well as a clear signal from Government that it would like to see farrowing crates phased out over time.

Useful links and information
Tail Biting WebHAT: The Tail Biting WebHAT (Web based Husbandry Advisory Tool) provides information about the key risks in pigs and practical suggestions to help reduce them on-farm. It takes you through a series of steps, to repeat on an ongoing basis, to help you and your vet monitor and reduce the risks.
Environmental enrichment for pigs: This guide aims to give practical advice to pig farmers surrounding the complex issue of providing suitable environmental enrichment to pigs.
Defra draft code of practice for the welfare of pigs
Lux meter: A light (lux) meter is used to measure the amount of light distributed over a particular area at a specified distance from the light source. For information on lighting for pig buildings, click here.
Pig Hub
: https://www.pighub.org.uk
Real Welfare: Real Welfare involves on-farm assessment of pig welfare using a set of five objective and repeatable measures.
APHA disease surveillance
PED testing

Get in touch
Claire Barber: Claire.barber@ahdb.org.uk or 0247 647 8913
Emily Boyce: Emily.boyce@ahdb.org.uk or 07776 594790
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