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Real welfare assessments reports no longer accessible from May

25th Apr 2023 / By Alistair Driver

Access Real Welfare assessment reports will end next month, after AHDB decided to end funding for the programme and the Pig Health Scheme, following the Shape the Future vote.  

pig straw2The initiative involved on-farm assessment of pig welfare by vets up to four times a year using a set of five objective measures known as ‘welfare outcomes’.These were animal-based, meaning that they were obtained from the animals themselves, rather than from their environment. The outcomes were reported back to producers, with reports summarising industry-wide data also published. 

The scheme was launched as a requirement of Red Tractor Farm Assurance in 2013 and QMS Pigs Farm Assurance in 2016.

Access to historical Real Welfare reports will now cease on May 19, while, from April 1, Red Tractor suspended standard AH.11, which requires Real Welfare assessments to be carried out on all units rearing pigs greater than 50 kg. Assessors have been instructed not to raise non-conformances against this standard and vets are no longer obliged to carry out Real Welfare assessments or report this data.

Historical data will be stored securely by AHDB, however, for data security reasons, AHDB is required to close down access to the Real Welfare database and producer reports.

If you have had Real Welfare outcomes assessed on your finisher unit(s), you can continue to access and download your reports through Pig Hub until May 19.

If you have any questions or concerns, email:

AHDB said the pork sector council acted on clear messages from levy payers to amplify our work on marketing, exports and reputation (including educating younger consumers), which will be underpinned by a foundation of aligned pre-farmgate work.

Prioritising this work, combined with a reduction in total income, meant that some work had to be reduced or stopped.

It stressed that work to improve animal health and welfare is important, not only for animals but for the profitability of the industry and to assure consumers of high welfare standards. But while much was retained following this review, the council directed AHDB to discontinue funding the Pig Health Scheme and Real Welfare programmes.