New pig welfare training platform launches in March

A new online pig welfare training platform will be launched on March 1.

Red Tractor Assured producers will have three months from the launch date to complete the essential welfare training and meet a new requirement of the revised farm standards introduced last year.

The new low-cost online training platform, run by AHDB, has been developed in collaboration with the Pig Health and Welfare Council, the NPA, the Pig Veterinary Society and Red Tractor. It will be introduced from the start of March following a delay to make refinements, based on feedback from producers involved in the pilot.

Designed to provide an easily accessible approach to learning and upskilling, the platform’s training material includes informative narrated videos and multiple-choice questions to check understanding.

The first available module focuses on best practice in the moving and handling of pigs – an important reputational concern for the sector and key aspect of pig welfare. The training will be for free for the first six months following its launch, after which there will be a charge of £10 per person.

A new Red Tractor standard introduced last year means that anyone involved with care of pigs needs to have completed pig welfare training via the platform by the end of May, within three months of the March 1 launch date.

  • You can find out more about the training HERE

Stewart Houston, Red Tractor pigs scheme chair, said: “We fully understand that the pig sector faces a difficult time, and this training is a vital part of giving shoppers the confidence to buy British pork.

“It is an important part of making sure that the standards that we all expect within the industry are being met by those caring for animals.

“Making sure we have consistent accredited training for all means our industry can demonstrate its professional and positive approach to pig welfare to customers and consumers.

“Of course, we know there are experienced and competent members of staff working with pigs. However, with ever-increasing interest and scrutiny of how food is produced, having a professional approach towards training and development is essential, not only for protecting the reputation of individual farms, but the entire sector.”

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “We have been involved in the process trying to ensure it is fit for purpose and to include individual and group learning. We are pleased that AHDB is waived the registration fee for the first six months.

“This is now compulsory for Red Tractor members, and we very much encourage people to get online and get involved and do it.”

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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.