A new National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) Pig Standard is set to take effect from 1 February 2018.
NLIS for pigs, which operates through the existing PigPass system, is Australia’s system for the identification and tracing of pigs for biosecurity, food safety, product integrity and market access purposes.
The standards will ensure consistent identification and traceability measures are in place across all Australian states and territories.
The PigPass National Vendor Declaration was introduced in 2008 and quickly became the commercially driven industry standard required for the sale and slaughter of pigs.
Similar NLIS standards are already in place for the cattle, sheep and goat sectors of the state’s livestock industry.
In South Australia, it has been mandatory since the early 1960s to identify pigs with a slap brand (tattoo mark).
The new standards bring in the option of ear-tagging pigs, which will enable the identification of all pigs other than unweaned piglets moving with their dams (mothers). Producers, saleyards, show societies, live exporters and abattoirs will also be required to report the movement of all pigs between properties on the PigPass database.
To help pig producers comply with the new standard a six month education campaign will be jointly conducted by PIRSA Biosecurity SA and Australian Pork Limited.
Changes to regulations under the Livestock Act 1997 will also come into effect on 1 February 2018.
Quotes attributable to Executive Director Biosecurity SA, Will Zacharin
Pigs are highly susceptible to the foot-and-mouth virus and a number of other contagious diseases and a disease outbreak would pose a considerable risk to our valuable $5.7 billion livestock and dairy industries.
Until now the ability to rapidly trace the origins and movements of pigs has been compromised, as unlike cattle, sheep and goats it hasn’t been mandatory to report pig movements to the PigPass database, which is then automatically uploaded to the NLIS database.
By implementing the new standards for pigs we are not only strengthening our ability to protect against serious animal disease outbreaks, but also ensuring South Australia’s ongoing access and competitiveness in key overseas and domestic markets.
Quotes attributable to Mark McLean, Chair Pork SA
The industry fully supports the implementation of PigPass as we understand the importance of reliable and timely tracing of animals to contain any spread of disease should a major animal disease outbreak occur.
Industry consultation on the transition from a voluntary to mandatory reporting system has been extensive at both a national and local level since 2006 and I am confident that the majority of our local producers are already set up to conform to the new standard.
We will continue to work closely with the State Government through PIRSA Biosecurity SA and Australian Pork Limited to educate our producers and ensure the success of this new system.