The importance of slapmarking pigs “correctly and clearly” has been highlighted for producers by AHDB Pork, with the added warning that the right to use the process is covered by a derogation which is valuable to the industry.
“We pride ourselves in this country on our traceability system that provides reassurance to customers here and in export markets,” said AHDB Pork director, Mick Sloyan, adding that while we have an internet based system for licencing the movement of pigs, we still rely on the use of effective slapmarking to identify individual pigs.
“We are allowed to use slapmarks rather than ear tags because we have demonstrated that this works. In order to maintain this derogation, however, we need to continue to ensure that slapmarks are applied correctly and that they are legible before and after slaughter.”
All pigs must be clearly slapmarked, with the Defra herd mark. This can take place at a suitable stage in the production system, but must take place before the pigs are loaded.
AHDB Pork also prompted producers to visit a work instruction page on its website for guidance on how to achieve clear and legible slapmarks.