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Red Tractor explains proposed changes to pig standards

18th Nov 2016 / By Alistair Driver

Red Tractor is writing to farmers to explain proposed changes to the Red Tractor Pig Standards, including a requirement to upload antibiotic data onto eMB-Pigs. 

Red TractorThe emailed letter explains that the process of reviewing standards takes place every three years and the latest proposed revisions, due to come into effect next year, are currently out for consultation.

The review aims to ensure that the scheme reflects the emerging issues on consumers’ minds as well as addressing changes in legislation, Red Tractor said.

"The recommendations in the consultation look to the future of food production across the globe and aim to put assured farms on the front foot to meet domestic demand and to fulfil export opportunities," the assurance scheme tells farmers. 

The letter highlights, in particular, changes related to the collation of antibiotic usage on farm, proposed in response to 'concerns over the threat of antibiotic resistance developing in both human and veterinary medicine and its risks to public health'.  

It is proposed that:

From October 1, 2017 onwards, a producer must demonstrate at assessment that they are uploading collated antibiotic data on an ongoing quarterly basis, and in a timely fashion, so that their most recent usage data is no more than three months old at any one time. It is also proposed, that from this date, they have historic collated usage data available on the e-MB for the last two quarters i.e. data from 1st April 2017.

More information on AHDB Pork's eMB-Pigs database in the form of videos and a quick guide is available via the AHDB website.

For more information on the proposed changes to pig standards, which also cover the prescribing of antibiotics, rodenticides, feed and water and animal health and welfare, click here for a previous article on this site and here for Red Tractor's detailed explanation.

NPA members wishing to respond are urged to do so via NPA, which will then collate the responses into a single submission.

NPA chief executive Zoe Davies said: “I want every member to have the opportunity to feed in their views so please let us know what you think.”

Please send any comments to