NPA calls for producers’ help to avoid Trichinella testing requirement

Pig producers sending finished pigs to abattoirs are being urged to ensure they demonstrate their pigs have been kept under controlled housing conditions (CHC) and to check their details are correct on the paperwork.

With the UK now a Third Country as far as EU trade is concerned, the EU is requiring assurances that the pigmeat it imports from the UK is not at risk of being infected with Trichinella.

This means that in order to allow processors to continue exporting to the EU, farms sending pigs to slaughter from indoor production systems need to attest that all pigs have been kept under CHC by ticking the relevant box on the FCI form.

This applies to all indoor units and those accepting piglets that are sent indoors before five weeks of age. This is only for clean pigs, as all sows and boars are automatically tested anyway. Free range pigs also have to be tested as they are unable to comply with the CHC requirements.

The FSA has generated a list of those farms that have said they are applying CHC for the Official Vets to check against, but the NPA has learned that the list is incomplete due to missing or erroneous information, meaning that many farms have not been included.

While the FSA has been very helpful in adding farms where the processor has provided the information, it will of course help if producers can check their data is up to date in the first place.

Producers are therefore asked, in addition to ensuring they tick the CHC box on the FCI form, to also check their details on the paperwork to ensure it is correct. This includes CPH number, Red Tractor licence number and postcode – all reasons why some farms were removed from the list.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said that if the farm is not on the list, the whole days kill has to be Trichinella tested, which could result in a significant extra cost for the industry.

“Processors are experiencing real issues with exporting pigmeat to the EU at present, so it would be greatly appreciated if you could all ensure your data is correct.”

To read more about the big issues affecting the pig sector, including the requirement to provide evidence that pigs have been kept separately from wild cloven-hoofed animals, CLICK HERE

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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.