New guidance on pig welfare
New guidance to help pig producers comply with legislation is to be drawn up by the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC).
The PHWC Welfare Sub Group is taking this forward as the existing guidance is, in some cases, more than ten years old.
The underlying legislation on animal welfare is not to change. The move has been made by Defra, which is in the process of shifting responsibility to the industry.
The meat chicken code has already been drawn up, pigs are underway and cattle and sheep are to follow. The PHWC, which is leading the review, is made up of industry organisations including the RSPCA.
NPA chief executive Dr Zoe Davies who is leading the drafting, said: “It is important to stress that it is only the information for producers which is to be changed and updated, not the legislation which will all remain in force.
“An advantage of industry-led guidance is that it can be presented in a more ‘farmer-friendly’ way in terms of the language used and also non-statutory guidance can be more easily updated than statutory guidance.
“The industry requested the continued involvement of Defra to ensure new legislation and its interpretation was included.
“This code will demonstrate that the pig industry takes responsibility for delivering good welfare and raising overall welfare standards.”
Once the guidance has been developed, it will be subject to a wide consultation, allowing all interested parties to play an active role in its preparation.