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Proposed Red Tractor changes - what they mean for farmers

5th Dec 2016 / By Alistair Driver

Pig World has taken a detailed look at what the proposed changes to Red Tractor standards will mean for producers. 

Red TractorYou can see the article here and in December's issue of the magazine.

The headline recommendations reflect the current industry focus on recording, refining and reducing antibiotic usage on farms.

This includes a proposed requirement, to take effect from October 1, 2017, to upload total antibiotic usage data onto the electronic recording system, eMB-Pigs, on a quarterly basis. Subject to approval, all members of the Red Tractor pigs scheme will need to have the previous two quarters entered onto the system by that date to be compliant.

Red Tractor Pork chairman Mike Sheldon is urging producers to start uploading data now to ensure they are ready for the new requirement.

The feature also takes a look at why, with new 10-year antibiotic targets due to be agreed next spring, there is a renewed drive, led by AHDB Pork and supported by NPA, to encourage pig producers to enter data onto eMB-Pigs.

Critically Important Antibiotics

The Red Tractor consultation also proposes that antibiotic prescribing must be done in accordance with Pig Veterinary Society (PVS) Prescribing Principles at all times, alongside tighter conditions on the prescribing of Critically Important Antibiotics.

Mr Sheldon said: "We recognise there are certain conditions in certain animals where they (CIAs) are required and we want to support vets and producers in being able to use them. But the justification has got to be transparent, otherwise that permission runs the risk of going.”

There are proposed changes in various other areas, too, including vermin control, traceability, biosecurity and fallen stock. 

Mr Sheldon said the changes have been designed to reflect ‘the emerging issues on consumers’ minds, as well as addressing changes in legislation’. In some cases, they will make life easier for members, he said.

Responding to the consultation

  • The consultation runs until December 31
  • For more information see
  • NPA members are urged to submit comments to the NPA (, which will then collate the responses into a single submission.