Winter roadshows to discuss Red Tractor developments

A series of roadshows is being planned for this winter where the theme will be a discussion of “where are we now?” with the development of the Red Tractor Pigs Standard.

As a direct result of feedback from the roadshows last winter, a standards review working group, made up of pig producers along with Red Tractor, BPEX, NPA and PVS representatives, was established to consider what could be done to simplify the standard and reduce the burden of the audit process.

The output from this group has already been fed into the review of Red Tractor standards planned for this autumn. The revised Pigs Standard will go out for formal consultation early in 2014, before implementation in October 2014.

The winter roadshows will be a great opportunity to demonstrate the proposed revised standard, with all the improvements generated by the working group, to gauge reaction to the proposals, and to discuss our progress so far.

With the introduction of Real Welfare Assessments to the Red Tractor Pigs Standard well underway, feedback from all sources is being gathered about how the assessments are working in practice.

The chairman of Red Tractor pigs, Mike Sheldon, said it was promised at last winter’s roadshows that the design and operation of the Real Welfare Assessments would be kept under review as real life experience was gained.

“So what we’re going to do,” he added, “given the success of the standards review working group, is establish a new working group, again made up of producers and vets, as well as Red Tractor, BPEX, NPA and PVS representatives, to come up with proposals to modify the Real Welfare Assessment protocol if needed in line with feedback from all those involved in carrying out the assessments.”

This working group will complete its work in time for changes to be formulated for discussion at the roadshows.

Meanwhile, the bureau service for submitting assessments is up and running, the web portal has been modified so that it’s now working much better, and the Real Welfare app, which has encountered significant problems in its development, is also now making significant progress.

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