Pig identification and registration: guidance for keepers

This guide explains the new rules for pig identification and registration.

Section 4: pig identification inspections

Why we have inspections?

RPID carry out pig inspections each year. Other bodies such as AHVLA and local authorities may also carry out inspections. The aim of the inspection is to make sure that the requirements of identification and traceability for pigs are understood and being complied with.

What the inspector does?

Inspectors will count all the animals kept by the business and verify the accuracy of the records by comparing the number of animals that should be present on the holding with the number actually found. A representative sample of animals will be checked on each holding to ensure compliance with identification requirements.

The inspector will compare the records to the information supplied to ScotEID, the movement documents and purchase and sales invoices.

The inspector will also confirm whether the key requirements of identification and traceability legislation have been complied with. The key requirements are:

  1. Keeper registration (with AHVLA)
  2. Identification
  3. Notifying moves to ScotEID (3)
  4. Record keeping

Full explanation of each of the requirements can be found in the earlier sections of this guidance.

What you have to do?

We are required to carry out inspections unannounced. An inspector will normally start by checking the records and other farm documents. You will be given a reasonable amount of time to present your animals for inspection. You must present all your animals, your records and other documents relevant to the inspection. You must make sure that the inspector can safely inspect your animals. You must provide suitable handling facilities and, if necessary, people to gather the animals.

How long an inspection takes

The time an inspection takes will depend on the number of animals involved and the quality of your records. You can reduce the amount of time that an inspection is likely to take by making sure your records and documents are always up to date, logically laid out and close at hand. The aim is to carry out inspections as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How we choose farms for inspection

Holdings to be inspected are selected either at or selected on the basis of risk analysis. The risk factors considered include for example, the number of animals on the holding, the results of previous inspections, length of time since last inspection.

Action taken as a result of the inspection

At the conclusion of the inspection, the inspector will discuss the findings with you. You will be given opportunity to make comment and sign the inspection report. Within a month of the inspection being completed, you will receive an inspection results letter detailing the findings. You will be required to take action to rectify any problems found.

Where there has been failure to comply with identification and traceability regulations we will take enforcement action. The action can range from the issue of guidance to passing a report to the local authority, for consideration of prosecution. In some cases, a movement restriction may be served on the holding, until such time as any problems are rectified. A restriction would prevent any movements to or from the holding, except under licence.

Where the non-compliances found form part of the requirements of Cross Compliance, a penalty in the form of a percentage reduction in payments due to the business, will be applied. The reduction is applied to payments for direct support schemes, including the Single Farm Payment and certain schemes approved under the Scottish Rural Development Plan, including LFASS. Where this is the case, a Cross Compliance breach letter will be issued, informing you of the penalty that results from your pig inspection. The results of other checks and inspections may also affect your final penalty calculation.

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