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Launch of Booklet on Code of Practice for the Welfare of Pigs

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Brendan Smith TD, has launched a Booklet produced by the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Council (FAWAC) on a Code of Practice for the Welfare of Pigs. The booklet aims to encourage all pig farmers to maintain the highest standards of animal husbandry and continue to practice responsible management on farms.

The Minister commenting on the importance of good welfare practices said that if  "farmers follow this Code of Practice, it will help them to meet the necessary welfare standards".  The Minister went on to say that "without competent, diligent stockmanship, the welfare of pigs cannot be catered for adequately".

The booklet provides advice on maintaining good bio-security and animal health status within the herd and on ensuring appropriate welfare by having proper procedures in place for dealing with sick or injured animals. Advice on herd management and on the requirement for pigs to have access to suitable material to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities is addressed.

The Minister, mindful of the importance of the pigmeat sector to the national economy also said that "good animal welfare is an intrinsic element of quality meat production. A reputation for high welfare standards is an important tool in the marketing of pigmeat at home and abroad and this is likely to become increasingly significant with the growing public awareness of how animals are reared". The Minister stressed the importance of the continued competitiveness and sustainability of this important industry and the necessity to adhere to pig welfare legislation. This booklet would assist farmers in this regard.

The Minister will shortly announce details of the new Sow Housing Scheme, being implemented shortly as part of the revised Rural Development Programme, which will provide €13 million to producers to assist in conversion to loose housing for sows.

Minister Smith thanked the Chairman of FAWAC, Professor Patrick Fottrell, and the members of the Council, particularly the members of the Education Sub-Group which include representatives from Veterinary Ireland, the ISPCA, the IFA together with Department officials, for their work in producing the booklet. The Minister also expressed his appreciation of the ongoing and valuable work being done by the Council and for the advice provided in the area of animal welfare. 

The booklet is available on the FAWAC website at www.fawac.ie or from the FAWAC Secretariat - email FAWAC@agriculture.gov.ie

  

 

Date Released: 25 February 2010