Scotland’s pig producers back innovative disease control scheme
Almost all of Scotland’s commercial pig producers have signed a special charter committing to work together to control the spread of disease.
The industry-led Scottish Pig Health Charter aims to improve herd health by working to limit the spread of disease in the event of an outbreak.
First set up in 2015, the scheme is now supported by every herd that is a member of the country’s red meat levy body, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
That equates to more than 30,000 breeding sows, and more than 95% of the country’s commercial herds.
QMS said the commitment by Scotland’s pig farmers was a clear indication of their dedication to improving pig health.
“When signing the charter, pig producers commit to working collaboratively with other producers to control and reduce the spread of disease for the benefit of all British pig producers,” said Allan Ward, QMS pig specialist.
The benefits of the charter will include the creation of health profiles of pig units in different areas, along with geographical mapping of the regional distribution of diseases, he said.
It will also work to limit the spread of disease by supporting a rapid response via the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre (SPDCC) in the case of any outbreaks.
Jim McLaren, QMS chairman, said Scotland’s pig industry should be congratulated for uniting behind the scheme.
“Our pig industry has a great track record of being at the forefront of initiatives to improve pig health and welfare and this is another great example of our producers being on the front foot,” he said.
“The health and welfare of animals is something which delivers benefits right-along the production chain and it is something which is becoming more and more important to consumers.”