Pig welfare guidance

Guidance about the needs of pigs and how to meet these needs in accordance with good practice.

Responsible medicines usage and record keeping

73. Any pig health and welfare plan, agreed with a veterinary surgeon, should focus on disease prevention through appropriate biosecurity, hygiene and vaccination protocols.

74. Antimicrobials should not be used routinely but only for the treatment, control or prevention of disease as prescribed by a veterinary surgeon when specific disease or infection has been diagnosed. The Pig Veterinary Society has published information about responsible use of antimicrobials – see Annex 3.

75. Worming and ectoparasiticide treatments should be carried out in accordance with veterinary advice as described in a health and welfare plan.

76. Only UK authorised veterinary medicinal products, or products with a Special Import Certificate and prescribed under the Cascade system, may be used and they should be administered according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Any variation must be under direct veterinary supervision.

77. Full records must be kept of all medicines used. Under welfare legislation, these records must be kept for at least three years. There are additional legal requirements for medicines records under the legislation for food-producing animals, which state that records on medicine usage, administration and disposal must be kept for at least 5 years. See Annex 1.

Paragraphs 7 and 8 of schedule 1 of the Welfare of Farmed Animals (Scotland) Regulations 2010 state that:

7. A record must be maintained of—

(a) any medicinal treatment given to animals; and

(b) the number of mortalities found on each inspection of animals.

8. The record referred to in paragraph 7 must be retained for a period of at least 3 years from the date on which the medicinal treatment was given, or the date of the inspection, as the case may be, and must be made available to an inspector on request.

(N.B. other legislation requires medicine records to be kept for 5 years – see Annex 1)

78. The medicines records must be available for an inspector to review at any time. Where records are kept on a computer or online, owners / keepers must be able to produce a copy of them on request for the inspector. See Annex 1.

79. In terms of individual animal management and overseeing herd health issues, it is useful to record reasons for treatment, such as mastitis, tail biting, lameness, and injuries. Where ongoing issues have been identified, owners / keepers should agree management and treatment protocols with a veterinary surgeon and add them to a health and welfare plan. Also see paragraphs 51 to 68, and paragraph 132 onwards in relation to tail biting.


Email: animal_health_welfare@gov.scot

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