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HSA input into Red Tractor's consultation helps to deliver improvements to pig standards

28 July 2021

New training requirements covering the handling of pigs and the use of veterinary medicines are among the headline changes to the Red Tractor Pig Standards

The HSA was one of a number of key stakeholders to respond to a Review of Standards consultation led by Red Tractor earlier this year.  As a result of the consultation, the Red Tractor Board has agreed new and revised farm standards for pig welfare which will come into effect from 1st November this year. 

One of the key changes has been a revision of training to ensure stock people are robustly trained on pig euthanasia to ensure best practice is maintained.  Initial euthanasia training must now be carried out by a vet or via an HSA course. Where a mechanical device is used for piglet euthanasia, Red Tractor has aligned its requirements with the HSA’s guidance to ensure effectiveness.

The HSA’s Technical Director Charlie Mason said: “The more people who receive this training the better.  Having the skills and confidence to carry out this difficult, but critically important, work means that diseased, injured and moribund animals will be spared avoidable suffering, once it is deemed their condition is not recoverable.”

The HSA is one of the NGOs regularly asked by Government and other organisations, including industry, to scrutinise and comment on various subjects; the main ones being new legislation, proposed changes to existing legislation and welfare at slaughter standards. Responding to these consultations is some of the most important work we undertake, albeit low-profile compared to other efforts. It gives the HSA opportunities to reach, inform and influence decision-makers which, in turn, may result in real improvements to animal welfare between the farm gate and slaughter.  Currently, our Technical Director is working with the Pig Veterinary Society on updating the online guidance The Casualty Pig.

Publications which may be useful in the sections dealing with emergency slaughter and handling are: 

https://www.hsa.org.uk/downloads/on-farm-killing-of-new-born-livestock-november-2020.pdf.

Captive-Bolt Stunning of Livestock https://www.hsa.org.uk/introduction/introduction

Emergency Slaughter https://www.hsa.org.uk/emergency-slaughter-introduction/introduction-5

Humane Killing of Livestock Using Firearms https://www.hsa.org.uk/humane-killing-of-livestock-using-firearms-introduction/introduction-2

Humane Handling of Livestock https://www.hsa.org.uk/humane-handling-of-livestock-introduction/introduction-4

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