Identification, registration and movement of pigs

DAERA has revised the rules for the registration of pig holdings and the identification and movement of pigs.

About the changes

The new system implements Council Directive 2008/71/EC on the identification and registration of pigs and the rules are laid down in the Pigs (Records, Identification and Movement) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012.
The changes took effect from Monday 19 March 2012.

The main changes are that pig keepers will:

  • register with DAERA before moving pigs, including pet pigs, onto their holding
  • ensure that all pig premises are registered on the APHIS database, and notify any new premises to DAERA before moving pigs on
  • report any changes to their holding registration details within 7 days
  • notify DAERA of pig movements off their holding within 7 days
  • identify all breeding pigs with an eartag
  • apply eartags printed by a licensed tag supplier with their holding code
  • replace lost or illegible identification marks within 28 days of discovery and before the pig leaves their holding
  • complete and return an annual inventory card showing the number of pigs on their holding

Pig keepers should continue to:

  • use their current holding code
  • identify pigs born on their holding before they leave, or before they reach 6 months of age, whichever is the earlier
  • identify breeding pigs with their holding code and a unique individual number (unique individual numbers can be handwritten)
  • identify slaughter pigs (under 6 months of age) moving to a finishing unit on another holding with an eartag, ear tattoo or slapmark bearing their holding code
  • identify slaughter pigs moving direct to slaughter with an eartag, ear tattoo or slapmark bearing their holding code, or with a slapmark bearing their curer mark

A Guidance Booklet explaining the new system, together with a new Holding Register and a new Movement Document book will be sent to pig keepers. Keepers should start using the books immediately, but in the meantime thy should continue to use their existing books for movements and record keeping. Keepers can also use the movement book to report Food Chain Information (FCI), comply with the welfare of animals in transport rules for short journeys, and record Quality Assurance information.

Pet pigs

Keepers of pet pigs are required to register with DAERA and obtain a holding code.

An AD status will be applied to newly registered holdings and appropriate movement licences issued. Movement licences should accompany all pigs moving from registered pet holdings and a copy returned to the local DAERA office. Pet pigs which are being bred for sale will be subject to the same testing regime as commercial pig holdings. Pet pigs being moved will required to be identified as per the regulations

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