Pig identity doubt
PROPOSED amendments to EU directives on pig identification are unworkable, according to BPA chief executive, Grenville Welsh.
"Until last week we were told the UKs pig registration information movement order – which requires a temporary slap mark and certificate each time the pig is moved – would satisfy the EU requirement for pig identification.
"But the Dutch are pressing for an indelible mark for all pigs linked to a computer database to identify the unit where the pig was born," says Mr Welsh.
He warns that up to 20% of ear tags would be lost as the pigs would chew them and continual retagging could compromise welfare as well as incurring labour and equipment costs.
"Tattoos could be a better option but these can grow out and will cost about 30p a pig plus the extra labour time needed to tattoo all stock," he says.
"And the sheer number of pigs would mean a large body of administration staff to run the database and the BPA estimates that the cost could be up to £5m /year."