The Red Tractor pigs board has accepted a request by the NPA producer group to allow more time for scheme members to submit data onto the eMB-Pigs database.
Entering antibiotic data on a quarterly basis will become a scheme requirement from this autumn.
At a meeting on Thursday, the board agreed to allow scheme members a window of six weeks after the end of each quarter to enter data from it onto the system.
This was after producers expressed concerns that the original plan for a minimum of four weeks could be difficult to comply with on occasions.
Red Tractor pork board chairman Mike Sheldon said: “As promised at the NPA Producer Group, I fed back to the RT Pigs Board the feelings of the Group on a reasonable turnaround time for submission of eMB data.
“The board felt that, in most circumstances, a one-month turnaround would be desirable and readily achievable. However, the board agreed that the main objective was to get good quality data onto the system, for the benefit of the industry as a whole, and that a six-week turnaround period would achieve that objective, as well as giving each producer a reasonable opportunity to conform.
“Therefore, I am pleased to say that the board has listened carefully to the advice offered by the NPA Producer Group, and has altered the wording of the new standard accordingly.”
What the changes mean
- The new standard will now say that all required data must be entered onto eMB-Pigs within six weeks of the end of each quarter.
- From November 11 (not November 1 as originally proposed), scheme members will be required to enter data from the second and third quarters of 2017.
NPA chief executive Zoe Davies welcomed the board’s decision. She said: “We are grateful that the pork board has listened to the views of the producer group.
“We know the board has to achieve the balance between what is right and credible for it and what is practical for scheme members and will always opt for a common sense approach where possible. This is a real case in point.
“Industry-wide recording of antibiotic usage data is one of the core principles of our Antibiotic Stewardship Programme and we are absolutely committed to making Red Tractor’s eMB-Pigs requirement work.
“We need to get as much data onto the system as quickly as possible and urge any producers who have not yet entered their data not to wait for the Red Tractor requirement but to start now! There is plenty of help out there if you need it.”
There has been a big increase in the volume of data on the eMB-Pigs system during the early part of 2017, as AHDB Pork has worked with the big pig producing companies, and with vets and feed suppliers, to get the data onto the system.
Data covering 54% of the pigs slaughtered in England in 2015 and about 45% of 2016 slaughterings has now been uploaded. The pig industry has been asked to present usage data to help set reasonable and workable reduction targets by this summer.
To use eMB-Pigs, go to: https://emb-pigs.ahdb.org.uk/
A user guide for the e-MB is online to provide support to producers who need it. It can be found at here
Videos to help farmers upload data to the e-MB can be viewed here