Charter aims to improve health of Scots pig sector

The charter builds on QMS's existing health scheme. Picture: Johnston Press
The charter builds on QMS's existing health scheme. Picture: Johnston Press
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As big-name supermarkets were this week criticised for using fictitious farm names to help market their own-brand produce, the Scottish pig industry was taking genuine steps towards the creation of a Scottish pig health charter.

Cementing the sector’s commitment to animal health and welfare, attendees at a recent pig conference were fully behind the creation of the charter, which it was claimed will further enhance the range of measures already in place to protect pig health on Scottish farms.

Adding to the existing Scottish Pig Health Scheme run by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), the charter will include the creation of health profiles of pig units in different areas, plus geographical mapping of the regional distribution of diseases. The charter will also support a rapid response through the Scottish Pig Disease Control Centre in the event of any outbreak of disease, in order to control the spread.

Information has been sent to pig farmers and vets, who have been asked to sign up by 1 April.

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Jim McLaren, chairman of QMS, said: “The Scottish pig industry has an enviable track record in terms of animal health and welfare and the establishment of this new health charter is a very welcome further development.

“Initiatives such as this which improve pig health make total sense, not only in terms of further improving welfare but also in terms of the efficiency and productivity benefits they bring to our national herd.”