A major review of Real Welfare started in September and, after the second meeting, some more changes have been proposed.
- From 14th November the requirement to record mild body marks and mild tail lesions is suspended.
- The requirement to record enrichment use continues to be suspended.
- The requirement to record severe body and tail lesions remains.
- The requirement to record types of enrichment present remains.
The recommendations were to suspend the requirement to measure mild marks on both the body and tails, on the grounds that the information return was too small for the effort required and the difficulty in detecting mild marks among dirty or coloured pigs made the quality of data questionable.Though the requirement to measure these has been suspended, producers and vets who see value in continuing to do so can continue to submit data, in the same way that some are continuing to submit environmental enrichment data.
The environmental enrichment measure has already been suspended and a number of alternative ways of assessing it will be drawn up and presented in December. Depending on what emerges from that work, any promising design will then go out for field trials to determine its effectiveness.
The recommendations from the meeting were submitted for consideration by the BPEX Board of Directors, as the owners of the protocol.
The Red Tractor Pigs Technical Advisory Committee also considered the recommendations, to make sure that they considered the changed Real Welfare protocol to still be robust and valuable. Both the BPEX Board and Red Tractor Pigs.
TAC accepted the recommendations and the changes to the protocol will come into effect on November 14th 2013.
Wednesday November 13, 2013/ BPEX/ United Kingdom.