Traceability is an important part of the national animal health system. Identifying livestock and recording their movements allows us to track where an animal has come from, who or what has come into contact with that animal and where it has gone.
For nearly a decade, cattle, sheep and goat producers have been required to tag livestock and update the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database when stock are moved on and off the property.
From 1 February 2018, whole-of-life traceability for pigs is also a legal requirement in all states and territories, further strengthening biosecurity and food safety throughout the $1.3 billion p.a. industry.
“Though NLIS (Pigs) isn’t entirely new, mandatory reporting measures will greatly increase the effectiveness of the system,” said Dr Simon Humphrys, Executive Manager Biosecurity and Product Integrity at Animal Health Australia.
NLIS (Pigs) operates through the PigPass system, run by Australian Pork Limited on behalf of the industry. Through PigPass, producers must create an electronic PigPass National Vendor Declaration (NVD) whenever they intend to move pigs off their property. The person receiving the pigs must then update the movement database.
“This creates a clear and accurate system for logging pig movements and animal health, with both parties responsible for ensuring the movement is properly recorded,” said Dr Humphrys.
“It also enables both the seller and purchaser to confirm the identity of the pigs being moved, and to convey important information relating to biosecurity and food safety.”
This includes whether the seller was certified by a quality assurance program, and whether pigs were fed approved feed.
Other important factors in the traceability system are ensuring that pigs are identified as per your state’s legislative requirements, and that the property on which the pigs are kept has a Property Identification Code.
“These allow us to trace individual animals all the way back to their property of origin, which is vitally important when using the system to trace and contain a biosecurity or food safety emergency,” said Dr Humphrys.
“Whether you’ve got one pig or hundreds, whether they are pets or production animals, you have a responsibility to ensure that they can be identified and traced in an emergency.”
Producers can find out more about PigPass from the Australian Pork Limited website.
Those wanting to know more about biosecurity for their pigs can visit the Farm Biosecurity pig industry page.