CCIR and the Pig Health Scheme – what’s the difference?
Below we discuss two types of data collected in the abattoir: Pig Health Scheme data and the Food Standard Agency’s Food Chain Information (FCI) and Collection and Communication of Inspection Results (CCIR). We discuss their differences and how they can be used to optimise the health and welfare of your pigs.
Abattoir inspections enable vets to look in detail at what’s going on inside of pigs. This provides extensive information on livestock health and can flag subclinical issues you might not have been aware of.
Vets can combine this abattoir data with information gathered from farm visits to give producers comprehensive advice on the health and welfare of their pigs.
Numbers of pigs assessed
FCI and CCIR inspections are required for every animal intended for human consumption, which means they happen in every abattoir, daily.
By contrast, the Pig Health Scheme used to operate in 11 of the largest pig abattoirs in England on specific days each quarter. Assessors examined every second or third pig (depending on the speed of the line), up to a maximum of 50 pigs per batch.
The Pig Health Scheme assessed the presence or absence of 12 conditions, grading the severity of some and providing additional comments, including slap mark quality. CCIR looks at a larger number of ante- and post-mortem conditions but does not grade their severity.
Animal health versus food safety
The Pig Health Scheme concentrated solely on animal health, whereas CCIR is mainly used for food safety.
CCIR ante-mortem inspections are carried out by the abattoir’s Official Veterinarian (OV), and post-mortem inspections are carried out by specially trained Meat Hygiene Inspectors (MHIs). These data are gathered at different points on the line, with each MHI assessing different parts of the carcase and offal.
After an assessment, members were notified by email that your Pig Health Scheme report was available to view on Pig Hub. You could use your report to compare your most recent batch of pigs to your last three batches, as well as a national benchmark.
This benchmarking feature helped you to track the progress of your herd’s health over time and to quantify the impact of management changes. Your named vet also received these reports.
Work is underway to allow CCIR data to include similar notifications and benchmarking, but this is not yet available.
You should interpret the reports with your vet and discuss any management changes before implementing them. You can then use subsequent reports to track improvements in your herd health over time.
Get in touch if you have any questions: PHS@ahdb.org.uk