Pig identity doubt

7 February 1997




Pig identity doubt

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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."

he says.


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