Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy  (Read 6175 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« on: October 12, 2023, 11:58:35 am »
Just sent our 3 Large Blacks off, and discovered a few things with the movement process...

1.  As of Jan 1st, all producers will have to be able to tick that they've had a vet visit for pig - and pig management - health check in the previous quarter.

2.  The epaperwork wouldn't allow me to record the eartags these pigs have in their ears, it would only allow me to say they had *our* herd mark in their ears, and that they must have our herd mark in their ears.  (This was the first time I'd had weaners arrive already eartagged, so this may not be a new thing.  If so, then in future I need to make sure that the breeder doesn't eartag, but moves them with a temporary mark, as I've always done hitherto.)

3.  I couldn't fathom the bit about controlled / not controlled, and I was doing the setup at the weekend for an early Monday morning movement, so hadn't left myself time to call the helpline for advice.  Reading up about it it seemed to be wanting to know that the pigs could not have shared ground with "cloven footed wild animals"...  Is this about foot and mouth in the deer populations?  Are we all supposed to run pigs in deer proof fields?  Or what?

Others who do more pigs than we do may know more about these items? 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2023, 01:45:46 pm »
Thanks for this Sally. We're about to send 3 pigs off at the end of the month. Didn't know about item 1) but does make sense of the fuss that the vet made when I requested some medication over the phone for our pigs when they arrived in June. She was initially reluctant to prescribe as we didn't have a "herd health plan" but I persuaded her. My argument was we don't breed our own pigs and only ever buy in 3 weaners at a time which all go off together with breaks in between each lot to rest ground etc etc. Never had a herd health plan in 10 years and no-one has suggested anything before now! But if a vet visit is necessary then that's another thing to add on to the rearing costs  :(

Re item 2) We've never purchased tagged pigs so haven't encountered this before.

Re item 3) Our butcher always tells me to tick "controlled" on the form - something to do with trichinella testing and pest control. If vermin is "not controlled" then the abattoir has to test for trichinella (I think, don't quote me) which holds up the process.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2023, 09:46:50 pm »
Typical hammer to crack a nut  :o

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2023, 09:28:40 am »
Just sent our 3 Large Blacks off, and discovered a few things with the movement process...

1.  As of Jan 1st, all producers will have to be able to tick that they've had a vet visit for pig - and pig management - health check in the previous quarter.

2.  The epaperwork wouldn't allow me to record the eartags these pigs have in their ears, it would only allow me to say they had *our* herd mark in their ears, and that they must have our herd mark in their ears.  (This was the first time I'd had weaners arrive already eartagged, so this may not be a new thing.  If so, then in future I need to make sure that the breeder doesn't eartag, but moves them with a temporary mark, as I've always done hitherto.)

3.  I couldn't fathom the bit about controlled / not controlled, and I was doing the setup at the weekend for an early Monday morning movement, so hadn't left myself time to call the helpline for advice.  Reading up about it it seemed to be wanting to know that the pigs could not have shared ground with "cloven footed wild animals"...  Is this about foot and mouth in the deer populations?  Are we all supposed to run pigs in deer proof fields?  Or what?

Others who do more pigs than we do may know more about these items?


I can't see where it says about "must" have a quarterly vets certificate from the 1st Jan. That was brought in in Jan but 2021 (I think) and small producers can tick the "no" box.


You should move on your own herd mark. It has been like that for sometime.


Controlled/non controlled is about tricinella. We don't have it here but in Europe they do. If you put non controlled then the test would need to be carried out and it takes a couple of days creating extra work and a blip in the system for the abattoir.


If your abattoir won't be sending any part of your pig to Europe you may not need the vet check in place but as it covers all species you may need it anyway.


At the top of the eaml2 page there is a very good letter from the BPA for small pig producers.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2023, 09:32:19 am »
Thanks for this Sally. We're about to send 3 pigs off at the end of the month. Didn't know about item 1) but does make sense of the fuss that the vet made when I requested some medication over the phone for our pigs when they arrived in June. She was initially reluctant to prescribe as we didn't have a "herd health plan" but I persuaded her. My argument was we don't breed our own pigs and only ever buy in 3 weaners at a time which all go off together with breaks in between each lot to rest ground etc etc. Never had a herd health plan in 10 years and no-one has suggested anything before now! But if a vet visit is necessary then that's another thing to add on to the rearing costs  :(

Re item 2) We've never purchased tagged pigs so haven't encountered this before.

Re item 3) Our butcher always tells me to tick "controlled" on the form - something to do with trichinella testing and pest control. If vermin is "not controlled" then the abattoir has to test for trichinella (I think, don't quote me) which holds up the process.


I doubt anyone will get medication soon without the vet having visited in the last months, which is how it should be. A health plan doesn't have to be anything complicated.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2023, 09:35:07 am »
Typical hammer to crack a nut  :o


Certainly feels that way but on the other side of the coin it gives people reassurance that animals have been looked after.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2023, 09:40:55 am »
Typical hammer to crack a nut  :o


Certainly feels that way but on the other side of the coin it gives people reassurance that animals have been looked after.

That may have been the intention but I believe it results in the opposite.

Small producers, who need prescribed drugs rarely, end up nearly always needing a vet on site - or having to trail a sick animal to the vets - in order to get the drugs they knew their sheep (or whatever) needed hours before and could have administered swiftly and without additional stress to the sheep. 

Yes, true story.  -Ies, actually.  One lamb died having added the best part of a day to the time it took to get him dosed (with the drug I had requested at 9am).  Another survived because we trailled him to the surgery to get his meds quickly.  But (a) as a sick lamb he could have done without the loading, journey and investigations by a stranger, (b) even having taken him to the surgery, it took an age to get the meds (again, the meds I'd requested by phone earlier) while I briefed the young vet on possible causes and appropriate treatments, and he sought and received confirmation from his more experienced colleagues that these were indeed the appropriate meds, and (c) I challenged the ridiculous bill they sent, and got a reduction down to what it should have been - meds only and a modest consultation fee.   

But a lot of small keepers would probably not have had the knowledge or confidence to argue the bill and after one such experience will take the view that it's not worth getting the vet - either the animal dies anyway because it all takes so long, and/or the bill is enormous and can't ever be justified, and however much we want to treat our livestock well, we can't afford vet bills on the same scale as those for the family pet.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2023, 08:34:54 am »
Typical hammer to crack a nut  :o


Certainly feels that way but on the other side of the coin it gives people reassurance that animals have been looked after.

That may have been the intention but I believe it results in the opposite.

Small producers, who need prescribed drugs rarely, end up nearly always needing a vet on site - or having to trail a sick animal to the vets - in order to get the drugs they knew their sheep (or whatever) needed hours before and could have administered swiftly and without additional stress to the sheep. 

Yes, true story.  -Ies, actually.  One lamb died having added the best part of a day to the time it took to get him dosed (with the drug I had requested at 9am).  Another survived because we trailled him to the surgery to get his meds quickly.  But (a) as a sick lamb he could have done without the loading, journey and investigations by a stranger, (b) even having taken him to the surgery, it took an age to get the meds (again, the meds I'd requested by phone earlier) while I briefed the young vet on possible causes and appropriate treatments, and he sought and received confirmation from his more experienced colleagues that these were indeed the appropriate meds, and (c) I challenged the ridiculous bill they sent, and got a reduction down to what it should have been - meds only and a modest consultation fee.   

But a lot of small keepers would probably not have had the knowledge or confidence to argue the bill and after one such experience will take the view that it's not worth getting the vet - either the animal dies anyway because it all takes so long, and/or the bill is enormous and can't ever be justified, and however much we want to treat our livestock well, we can't afford vet bills on the same scale as those for the family pet.


That's one example Sally where you have been unhappy with the service you received. From the vets point of view they have to meet legislation and how does the young vet or any vet know you know their job better than them? And I'm not saying on occasion you don't. Many experienced livestock owners are very good at diagnosis and treatment but we aren't vets in the eye of the law.


Some of the things I see on forums and social media platforms are very worrying. People who think that they can post a list of symptoms and someone will diagnose the cause when clearly a vet is/was needed hours ago. Even days sometimes. Stories of I've treated with this, then this and now I'm trying this, what do you think?


Many people get animals and then work out they can't afford the vet but also they would have benefitted from health plan.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2023, 09:35:30 am »
 I think affording a vet callout (when so often the outcome remains a dead animal whichever route you go) has always been an issue for smallholders operating on a shoe string and it's always been a concern welfare-wise. 

My worry is that the new legislation, whilst I agree it's designed to improve things, coupled with increasing vet fees for farm animals (probably due mainly to the corporates taking over the little local practices), will have the opposite effect - as is so often the case with Defra legislation, written as it is by desk jockeys and not sufficiently sense-checked by real world practitioners.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2023, 11:57:31 am »
I think affording a vet callout (when so often the outcome remains a dead animal whichever route you go) has always been an issue for smallholders operating on a shoe string and it's always been a concern welfare-wise. 

My worry is that the new legislation, whilst I agree it's designed to improve things, coupled with increasing vet fees for farm animals (probably due mainly to the corporates taking over the little local practices), will have the opposite effect - as is so often the case with Defra legislation, written as it is by desk jockeys and not sufficiently sense-checked by real world practitioners.


There is a whole new discussion there Sally. Should you keep animals if you can't afford a vet? There's a whole other discussion around people trying to be farmers who don't understand anything about keeping animals and learn by experiences that can be costly and distressing for owners and animals.


We are getting this vet attestation because of exports and European pressure.


What's the alternative? You can't have one rule for one and one rule for another.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2023, 12:17:03 pm »
The Vet Attestation thingy is about satisfying the Northern Ireland Protocol, yes.  And - provided vets can do the necessary for a reasonable charge - will hopefully be of benefit to both smallholders and their livestock.

I'd gone off on a bit of a tangent about the prescribing thing, which has been in place for a while (so is not an outcome of Brexit), but recently got shortened to "vet on site to see species within the last six months".  I don't dispute that the vet overseeing and approving how antibiotics are used on farm is a sensible requirement, I just believe that the way of supposedly implementing it in fact has the opposite effect, which I find to be true of much of Defra's procedures.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2023, 03:31:26 pm »
Hi Sally 
I recently caught the full wrath of the abattoir owner when arriving with 'uncontrolled' pigs for slaughter, as I had not warned them this was the case when booking as it meant additional testing/paperwork was required for them. 
Essentially our pigs were all outdoor reared in our woodlands from weaning, so they were classed as uncontrolled. 

What really surprised me was that our pigs were the only pigs being dropped off that day which were outdoor reared and uncontrolled.  Whether others had just ticked the 'controlled' box for 'uncontrolled' pigs, I will never know, but I was very surprised that this was something unusual which I needed to notify at time of booking the pigs into the abattoir - suggesting outdoor reared pigs were wholly unusual - reinforced by the rather hardcore expletives I had shouted at me for arriving with what I thought was a normal cargo of pigs. 
I would never chose to use that abattoir again as a result. 

Some more info here on controlled/uncontrolled housing if it helps:
https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/trichinella-in-pig-herds

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2023, 05:58:58 pm »
Yeah, I think in the past the folks here have ticked the box they were asked to tick, rather than going into it all in detail...

Now that the vet check will be mandated, the vets aren't going to record an open (non deer fenced) outdoor pen as "controlled", I assume, so all of us producing free range pork are going to have to tick "uncontrolled", and the abattoirs are just going to have to do the extra testing.

I'll be contacting our abattoir and vet soon to find out what we need to do and organise the vet assessment (hopefully able to cover all species when they come to do the TB test next month, although we don't keep pigs here between mid-October and mid-March - but we can show them where and how the pigs are kept in the drier months).  Will no doubt post more as I discover more... 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2023, 06:51:11 pm »
Hi Sally 
I recently caught the full wrath of the abattoir owner when arriving with 'uncontrolled' pigs for slaughter, as I had not warned them this was the case when booking as it meant additional testing/paperwork was required for them. 
Essentially our pigs were all outdoor reared in our woodlands from weaning, so they were classed as uncontrolled. 

What really surprised me was that our pigs were the only pigs being dropped off that day which were outdoor reared and uncontrolled.  Whether others had just ticked the 'controlled' box for 'uncontrolled' pigs, I will never know, but I was very surprised that this was something unusual which I needed to notify at time of booking the pigs into the abattoir - suggesting outdoor reared pigs were wholly unusual - reinforced by the rather hardcore expletives I had shouted at me for arriving with what I thought was a normal cargo of pigs. 
I would never chose to use that abattoir again as a result. 

Some more info here on controlled/uncontrolled housing if it helps:
https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/trichinella-in-pig-herds


That wasn't very fair of the abattoir and I don't blame you for not going back. It is poorly explained because even outdoor reared pigs where they are wormed and you practice rodent control can be classed as controlled.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Small scale outdoor pigkeeping... queries about the bureaucracy
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2023, 06:55:30 pm »
Yeah, I think in the past the folks here have ticked the box they were asked to tick, rather than going into it all in detail...

Now that the vet check will be mandated, the vets aren't going to record an open (non deer fenced) outdoor pen as "controlled", I assume, so all of us producing free range pork are going to have to tick "uncontrolled", and the abattoirs are just going to have to do the extra testing.

I'll be contacting our abattoir and vet soon to find out what we need to do and organise the vet assessment (hopefully able to cover all species when they come to do the TB test next month, although we don't keep pigs here between mid-October and mid-March - but we can show them where and how the pigs are kept in the drier months).  Will no doubt post more as I discover more...


It's not to do with your fencing if you read the link Maise posted. It about worming and rodent control mostly. Trichinella is not an issue in the uk. You are also asked on the eaml2 form if you have a salmonella plan and you can tick no. Or you can follow their tool and do one. The controlled/non controlled bit is also explained on the form.

 

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