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This code of practice is a statement of intent by the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation with the assistance of the Pig Veterinary Society.
It is intended to be code of conduct in husbandry practices on a pig farm and not to supersede or contradict current welfare legislation concerning the care and handling of pigs.
Furthermore, the adoption of SAPPO’s Recommended Biosecurity measures is strongly encouraged to reduce the risk of diseases entering a farm which would cause unnecessary suffering.
This code is based on the knowledge and technology available at the time of publication. The code is a dynamic document which will be reviewed on a regular basis. It does not replace the need for common sense and experience in the husbandry of animals
Globally definitions for sow housing systems differ markedly and are often confusing. The following definitions are therefore recommended to be included in the SAPPO Welfare code:
Sows are housed in pens, either in groups or individually, for the last eight weeks of pregnancy until they are moved to farrowing accommodation. I.e. spend a maximum of 8 weeks in gestation crates
Sows are housed in pens, either in groups or individually, for the last twelve weeks of pregnancy until they are moved to farrowing accommodation. I.e. spend a maximum of 4 weeks in gestation crates
Sows are housed in pens, either in groups or individually, and not in conventional sow gestation crates from within 24 hours after insemination until they are moved to farrowing accommodation.
Breeding sows are kept outside in fields on soil with shelter available for protection from the weather during pregnancy until they are moved to farrowing accommodation.
Breeding sows are kept outside in fields on soil with shelter available for protection from the weather during pregnancy and provided with basic huts for farrowing outside and to nurse their litter
Table below indicates the approved methods for stunning pigs:
Provision for appropriate partitioning to separate different categories/sizes of pigs, or to divide large numbers into smaller groups to avoid crushing, fighting or bullying.
The following minimum space requirements must be adhered to:
When slats are used pigs can use that area for resting whereas when solid floors are used the dunging area is not available for resting.
Outdoor pigs must be provided with:
To be read in conjunction with the SABS Pig Transport Code
The Animal Identification Act, 2002 (Act No. 6 of 2002) replaced the old Livestock Brands Act, 1962 (Act No. 87 of 1962). The entire country needs to apply with the Act.
Marking by means of Tattoo
Get everything ready before you start tattooing. You will need the pliers, and the ink.
Get someone to help you. The helper must bring the animal closer and hold it firmly for the tattoo to be applied.
Ensure that the characters are put in the correct positions according to the certificate of registration.
It is important to clean the ears before marking the animals as the dirt and oil of the ears could prevent the ink from filling the wholes made by the tattoo plier.
Press the tattooing pliers until holes appear on the skin.
Rub the ink into holes. The tattooing process is complete.
Biosecurity can be defined as: “ The implementation of measures that reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of disease agent, it requires the adoption of a set of attitudes and behaviours by people to reduce risk in all activities involving domestic, captive/exotic and wild animals and their products.” (FAO/ OIE/World Bank)
The Terrestrial Code defines a biosecurity plan as: “a plan that identifies potential pathways for the introduction and spread of disease in a zone or compartment, and describes the measures which are being or will be applied to mitigate the disease risks, if applicable, in accordance with the recommendations in the Terrestrial Code. (OIE 2008b)
Segregation is action of creating barriers to prevent animals and materials that could cause a risk to uninfected animals. Some possible measures include the changing of footwear and clothing for all people crossing the barriers into the unit, and another important aspect is limiting vehicle access.
This is the next most effective step in biosecurity. By cleaning the physical objects properly, you will be able to remove most (all) potential contaminating pathogens. It is important to remember that all materials that need to pass through segregation barriers (whether it is into the unit or out of the unit) need to be thoroughly cleaned.
This is the final step in biosecurity. The Terrestrial Code defines disinfection as: “The application, after thorough cleansing, of procedures intended to destroy the infectious or parasitic agents of animal diseases, including zoonoses; this applies to premises, vehicles and different objects which may have been directly or indirectly contaminated” (OIE2008b).
It is important to ensure that disinfection is performed consistently and correctly to ensure effectiveness. It is important to remember that biosecurity is the final polishing step in biosecurity.
These three steps are included in the recommended best practices for feasible biosecurity practices for different production practices. There are different biosecurity measures for different forms of pig production:
Pork producers should always consider the environmental impact of their actions. The biggest direct impact by piggeries to the environment is around wastewater handling and processing.
It is important to dispose of wastewater and dead pigs in a manner that prevents pollution of water resources.
Hazardous waste (needles and empty containers) should also be disposed of in the correct manner.
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