New Property to Property Traceability Rules

Most producers are aware of their obligations to complete National Vendor Declarations (NVDs) when moving pigs from farms to sale yards and abattoirs, using either electronically using Australian Pork Limited’s (APL) PigPass or ordering books by phoning into the PigPass dedicated phone service.

There are several reasons for this but the most important is to ensure that pigs can be traced in the event of a disease outbreak. When sale yards and abattoirs receive the NVD, this information is uploaded to the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database, i.e. those businesses upload the movement information directly to NLIS. This allows jurisdictions to trace animals (cattle, sheep, pigs and goats) reliably and in a timely manner if a disease outbreak occurs, in an effort to contain the outbreak. Think how the PEDv in the USA has spread rapidly and affected large numbers of pigs across that country. Inadequate reporting and biosecurity failures lie at the heart of this rapid spread.

However, for pigs, there is currently no reporting for movements that do not occur to sale yards or abattoirs, i.e. property to property or P2P or movements to and from shows and other events. The tracing of these movements is critical to contain the spread of disease. NLIS (Pork) is Australia’s system for identification and tracing of pigs for biosecurity, food safety, and product integrity and market access purposes.

APL recently reached agreement on NLIS (Pork) Business Rules, in conjunction with Animal Health Australia (AHA), the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, State Departments of Agriculture and SAFEMEAT.

NLIS (Pork) is a consignment (mob) based livestock traceability system covering the production system from property of birth to the point of disposition at processing. It uses pig identification (either body tattoos or visually readable ear tags) in conjunction with paper-based movement documentation (either the PPNVD or state waybill) and the NLIS and PigPass databases to trace pig consignments.

Pigs must be identified and accompanied by a movement document whenever they are sold and/or move off a property to any other location with a different Property Identification Code or PIC.  Industry participants will also need to register mob based movement information via the PigPass database (P2P movements by producers) or NLIS database (sale yard and abattoir movements by those business).

NLIS (Pork) operates on the principle that the owner of the pigs, and each participant responsible for the pigs along the supply chain, has responsibility to ensure that the pigs do not move forward in the supply chain unless they can be reliably traced back to their last property of residence. At each point along the supply chain, the person responsible for the pigs must meet their responsibilities as defined within these Business Rules.

Given that many producers are aware of, and use, PigPass, and PigPass already covers the majority of Australia’s pig herd, this reporting system will be the focus for P2P movements. In some jurisdictions, pigs are moved using non-PPNVD documentation, e.g. waybills. In accordance with the agreed rules, APL will be making changes to the PigPass system to allow these to be uploaded to PigPass.

Importantly, producers will be required to upload the P2P movements or movements between PICs and shows/events within two days or before the next movement, whichever occurs first.

Therefore, from 1 October 2014, APL and jurisdictions, intend to commence reporting of all pig movements. This will occur ahead of jurisdictions making the required legislative changes to incorporate the new rules. In other words, implementation will occur ahead of legislation, and states and territories will require producers to report from the 1 October 2014 date.

At the heart of the implementation is a communications strategy, which needs to be developed and implemented. APL will be taking a three tiered approach to communicating the new requirements:

–          To those pig producers registered on the PigPass system;

–          To those pig producers not registered on PigPass but registered with state/territory Property Identification Code (PIC) databases; and

–          To all other pig producers not registered in either of the above systems.

The latter group will be a challenge, and APL would welcome suggestions from producers on ways to communicate with these producers. APL will also seek to leverage any communications strategy to also communicate other key industry and statutory requirements, such as the key message that swill feeding is illegal.

While there is a lot to do between now and then, this article serves to alert you that changes will be incorporated into PigPass to allow simultaneous upload of P2P movements and movements to shows and events to PigPass from 1 October 2014, and that APL will be contact with you over the coming months about these new requirements.