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Important revisions to Red Tractor standards

8th Jan 2018 / By Alistair Driver

Some important revisions and clarifications on guidance have been made to the Red Tractor Pig Farm standards.

Transport of assured pigs

A revision has been made to the standards regarding the transport of assured pigs to markets, collection centres and abattoirs where farmers are using their own vehicles to transport their pigs.

When transporting pigs to Red Tractor approved markets (where the market has opted into the Red Tractor Markets Scheme to handle assured pigs), collection centres or abattoirs, producers must clean and disinfect their vehicle on site, after each load and before leaving the site.

Clarification and guidance on water drinkers

The new Red Tractor pig standards, which came into effect in October 2017, introduced a new standard, which applies to combined wet and dry feeding systems in growing and finishing farms. The new requirement states that drinkers within wet and dry feeding systems (feeders) do not count as a separate water source.

So from Oct 1 2017, there has been a requirement for a separate water source and for the number of drinkers provided to meet the existing requirement of one nipple or bite drinker per 15 pigs (ad lib fed) or one bowl per 30 pigs (ad lib fed) – that is, the drinker in the wet/dry feeding system does not count.

The images below show illustrated examples of combined wet and dry feeding systems that do not count as a separate water source. Please note that separate drinkers above a trough do count.

AHDB drinkers

For clarification, a bowl is defined as a self-filling bowl having a design capacity of at least 2 litres with a permanently available reservoir of water (the filling must not be pig operated).

As the water source integral to the wet and dry feeding system no longer counts as a separate water source, for some members this will require investment in order to meet the Red Tractor standard and provide the correct provision of drinkers.

More information 

For any queries, please contact or call 0203 617 3670

Red Tractor stressed that, particularly in light of increased activist activity, it is essential that the standards are met 'at all times, 365 days a year'. Members need to ensure they are compliant to the RT drinker standards and from receipt of this guidance will have a lead-in time of six months to invest, if required, in new drinkers.

Red Tractor pig vet, David Chennells said: “This amendment has been made to ensure pigs have access to an adequate supply of clean water separate from the wet and dry feeder, thereby avoiding any competition for water caused by other pigs occupying the space around the feeder."

The full Red Tractor pig standards can be found here.