WA pig owners and farmers have joined other livestock producers this month as a mandatory national tracking system, known as PigPass, came into effect across the country on February 1.
PigPass, which works as a National Vendor Declaration (NVD), was voluntary for producers until now – although the industry pre-empted the start-up date.
WA pig producers have been operating differently to the Eastern States since the Midland saleyards closed in 2010 – selling direct to abattoirs or butchers - having done away with pig auctions through saleyards.
Former Linley Valley Pork meat and livestock manager Ron Penn said most of the pigs that went through the facility were already identified so the change wouldn’t affect business.
“Every pig that comes onsite has to have a tattoo, every pig that comes onsite has to have a PigPass,” he said.
“So not much is going to change.
“Each farmer that fills that in has a PIC (Property Identification Code).
“If that PigPass isn’t filled out correctly when it arrives onsite we won’t slaughter that animal until we make contact with the farmer and then he has to reissue his PigPass.
“A lot of the time it’s just a slip of the pen and they have just missed a column that’s all – so it shouldn’t impact (too much).”
According to the industry’s peak body Australia Pork Limited (APL) PigPass “will provide real time information on the movements of all pigs in Australia”.
“This enables authorities to quickly determine the source of a disease outbreak and notify people with pigs in the affected area to stop the spread of disease.”
The PigPass NVD form must be completed by all pig owners and producers, regardless of the numbers of the pigs moved from the property.
Failure to comply with the reporting requirements may result in a penalty notice.
APL reminded producers that “when transporting pigs off the property owners must complete a PigPass NVD ensuring all information has been completed in full, including the destination PIC”.
“The receiver must ‘close the loop’ by reporting the movement online using the originating sender’s serial number from the PigPass NVD.
“A receiver could be an abattoir, a pig producer, a pet pig owner, a saleyard, a knackery, a show or event or a livestock agent.”
PigPass is designed to link pigs to a property of origin using a PIC, registered pig identification (ear tags and tattoos) and pig movement documentation (the PigPass NVD).
“PigPass helps to ensure that the transport of pigs meets agreed industry and government standards relating to food safety, animal disease control and animal welfare,” APL said.