Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in December, it has been confirmed that the expression 'places for sows' in IPPC must be interpreted as including places for gilts that have already been served, but have not yet farrowed.
This represents a change to the Environment Agency's earlier position which stated that all gilts would be counted as production pigs.
For the purposes of calculating pig places and determining whether a farm should be in IPPC, the definition of sows will now include:
• A female pig that has had her first litter.
• A female pig that has been served but has not yet had a litter.
• All other pigs weighing over 30kg will be counted as production pigs.
The new ruling means some existing IPPC permit holders may now need to seek an increase in their permitted pig places.
The ruling may also mean some pig-keepers currently operating without a permit are now over the IPPC threshold (750 sow places).
In these circumstances, operators must apply for a permit without delay, says the Environment Agency.
For existing members now requiring a change in permit conditions, the Agency will calculate the effect on ammonia emissions.
Friday February 17, 2012/ NPA/ United Kingdom.