The task of developing pig industry-led guidance on animal welfare which is more “farmer-friendly” than in the past is about to be put to the test with the Pig Health and Welfare Council (PHWC) being set to produce new guidance for producers.
“It is important to stress that it is only the information for producers which is to be changed and updated, not the legislation which will all remain in force,” said NPA chief executive, Dr Zoe Davies, who is leading the drafting process.
The move follows a decision by Defra to shift the production of welfare guidelines to individual livestock sectors, a change which Dr Davies supports.
“An advantage of industry-led guidance is that it can be presented in a more ‘farmer-friendly’ way in terms of the language used and also non-statutory guidance can be more easily updated than statutory guidance,” she said.
The industry requested the continued involvement of Defra, however, to ensure new legislation and its interpretation was included.
“The (new) code will demonstrate that the pig industry takes responsibility for delivering good welfare and raising overall welfare standards,” said Dr Davies (pictured above), pointing out that some parts of the existing guidance were more than 10 years old.
Once the new guidelines have been developed, they will be subject to wide consultation, allowing all interested parties to play an active role in the process.