Contractors for new Pig Health Scheme announced

AHDB has announced the two successful contractors who will run the new Pig Health Scheme.

Following a successful tender process, the contract for training and quality assurance. has been awarded to Vetscore Limited. The physical assessments of pig carcases in abattoirs will be undertaken by Eville and Jones Commercial Services Limited.

The scheme, formerly known as the British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS), was suspended last November after AHDB has found that data currently collected from it was not consistent with historical data.

The contract with the provider, Hallmark Veterinary & Compliance Services, was ended and a new tender was undertaken following a review of the scheme, along with software upgrades and the development of comprehensive explanatory material. The scheme will now consist of two parts – training and quality assurance and physical assessments in the abattoirs.

AHDB recently announced details of the new scheme in Pig World. The scheme is free of charge and easy to sign up to, so producers can quickly start to see the benefit, it said.

Pigs are assessed at slaughter by trained veterinary assessors, looking at 12 different conditions in the lungs, heart, liver, tail and skin. Producers will receive a report on pigs from their unit that have been sent to slaughter. This should be discussed with the unit’s vet, so they can take steps to get ahead of any disease before it becomes a greater problem.

The training manual, assessment criteria and report structure have been developed and existing scheme members and associated vets will receive a copy of the new explanatory material and details on how to access reports by post soon.

AHDB has not yet announced the starting dates for the revised scheme. The next step is to get assessors trained and upcoming assessment dates will be announced on its website.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.