Thursday, 4 March 2021
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – moving and handling pigs correctly is the right thing to do. It improves pig welfare and performance, affects stockperson well-being and shapes the way consumers view our producers and industry.
So how can we, as an industry, demonstrate our commitment to handling our pigs with care and respect? One route is via training and certification. Yes, this might mean another course that you and your team need to take, but in the grand scheme of things, it will be worth it.
We have been working with the NPA, Red Tractor and the Pig Veterinary Society to develop a training module that anyone involved in moving and handling pigs can, and should, take. It will be hosted online and will enable us to provide you with a blended approach to learning and upskilling.
What do I mean by this? Basically, the training will include a mixture of videos and multiple-choice questions, accessible online for whenever you are ready to do the training. Certificates will be awarded on successful completion of the course, and you can record it on PigPro (an online recording system for training), along with any other CPD training you have participated in.
I know that you know what you’re doing, but with an ever-increasing number of incursions and exposés, unfortunately, we need to prove that we do. We hope this training will act as a refresher for those who have been working with pigs for a long time, and as a means of upskilling new entrants to the industry. It will ensure everyone knows what is and isn’t acceptable, because, ultimately, it is impossible to defend poor animal handling practices – they shouldn’t happen in the first place. This training will demonstrate to consumers and retailers that we are a responsible industry, full of people who care passionately about their animals.
The plan is to roll the training out from April, and Red Tractor is currently consulting on making it a mandatory part of their pig standards. In the meantime, take a look at the videos and content we have on our website and encourage your colleagues to do likewise.