Acknowledging a 2022 AHDB report on pig movements, identification, and traceability, Defra has pledged to cooperate with the pig industry to explore advancements in pig identification methods, potentially expanding the use of electronic tags.

The ongoing shift from current livestock movement recording systems to the multi-species Livestock Information Service (LIS) remains a priority. Notably, sheep movements transitioned to LIS in 2022, with cattle set to follow by the end of 2024, preceding pigs.

The National Pig Association (NPA) highlighting the importance of pig movement documentation among disease risks such as African swine fever.

Defra underlined it will ‘look into creating a consistent approach’ regarding registration, however they are unsure whether LIS will the future system or if other considerations such as DNA tracing and facial recognition may be considered.

The report goes on to explain that an economic assessment to introduce electronic tagging should be conducted.

Defra responded with: “While the government recognises the opportunity this recommendation presents, any proposed changes will be assessed against the impact on industry, the cost of implementation and long term-benefits.”

They concluded: “The government will work with industry as it considers how pig identification may evolve over the coming years.”

NPA senior policy advisor Katie Jarvis responded: “The NPA has long advised that it would be impractical to introduce EID for pigs. It is crucial that the new system does not impact negatively on the way that pig movements are currently recorded.”