All Scottish pig farmers who are members of the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) assurance scheme have now signed up to the Scottish Pig Health Charter.
The Charter is an industry-led initiative launched at the end of 2015. It further enhances the range of measures already in place to protect, monitor and improve pig health on Scottish farmers and complements the existing Scottish Pig Health Scheme, according to QMS.
The 100% commitment to the Charter by quality assured pig producers represents over 95% of Scotland’s commercial pig herd, covering more than 30,000 breeding sows.
Among the benefits the Charter will deliver is the creation of health profiles of pig units in different areas, along with the geographical mapping of the regional distribution of diseases. It will also help support a rapid response via the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre (SPDCC) in the case of any outbreak of disease, in order to control and limit the spread, QMS said.
Allan Ward, QMS pig specialist said the commitment was a clear indication of Scottish producers’ dedication to continuous improvement of the health of the pigs they rear.
“When signing the charter, pig producers commit to working collaboratively with other producers to control and reduce the spread of disease for the benefit of all British pig producers,” he said.
QMS chairman Jim McLaren said the Scottish pig industry should be congratulated for uniting behind the Charter.
“Our pig industry has a great track record of being at the forefront of initiatives to improve pig health and welfare and this is another great example of our producers being on the front foot,” he said.
“The health and welfare of animals is something which delivers benefits rights along the production chain and it is something which is, quite rightly, becoming steadily becoming more and more important to consumers.”
Scottish SPCA Chief Inspector Mike Flynn said, “As Scotland’s animal welfare charity we welcome any initiative which will help ensure that pig health and welfare is a priority.
“We are pleased to see that 95% of Scotland’s commercial pig farmers are now benefitting from the QMS assurance scheme, and signed up to the Scottish Pig Health Charter.”
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