Regardless of the size of your enterprise or hobby farm, pig owners play a vital role in maintaining the health and welfare of livestock and providing quality pork products to consumers. There are a number of requirements for pig owners that are monitored by State government and industry authorities. This brochure provides information on these “must do’s”.
Register your property
All properties where pigs are kept must be registered and have a property identification code (PIC). Your PIC is needed when completing travel documents such as National Vendor Declarations (NVD) that accompany your pigs when they are sold or processed at an abattoir.
Identify your pigs
You must identify individual pigs if you sell them or have them processed at an abattoir. The nationally-agreed method for identifying larger pigs is the body tattoo/brand while, smaller pigs under 25kg are ear tagged with an NLIS accredited tag.
Register on the PigPass database
NSW requires an National Vendor Declarations when pigs are sold or when moved between farms even if ownership does not change. This assists with tracking the movements of livestock in the event of an exotic disease outbreak or a food safety scare. The first step in getting an NVD is to register with the PigPass database. All pigs that move off-farm must be accompanied by an NVD and PigPass travel document. An electronic (E-PigPass) can be completed on-line and downloaded at no cost.
If you own or have animals on your land, you have a duty of care to look after them. NSW has legislation governing welfare requirements of pigs. The Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Pigs) can be found at australianpork.com.au.
Get training in pig husbandry
It is a legal requirement that anyone caring for pigs is suitably qualified or works under the supervision of a suitably qualified person. Ensuring you have the right skills and training to work with pigs is essential for good welfare and best-practice production. Advice on local training and development is available at australianpork.com.au.
Keep your pigs healthy
There are some simple things you can do to keep your pigs healthy:
- Manage herd health and breeding.
- Understand pig nutrition and learn what to feed your pigs.
- Report unusual or notifiable pig diseases
- Understand pig vaccines and only use restricted (Schedule 4) veterinary medicines when prescribed by a veterinarian for your pigs
- Adhere to all label instructions on non-veterinary chemicals (e.g. Taktic, Dectomax etc.) including dose rate and withhold or export slaughter intervals.
Local Land Services district veterinarians can assist you with health advice and training.
For more information contact Local Land Services on 1300 795 299, visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au or call the NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244.
If you see any unusual signs of disease, or death, call the emergency animal disease watch hotline 1800 675 888.
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