Herd Health Programs & Risk Management
New legislation is being introduced state by state in Australia that will require that all pig farms have in place a Herd Health Program and a Risk Management Plan.
Need Help Putting Together an Environmental Management Plan?
To simplify the task for small producers, Humane Farm Management has put together a pro-forma Program that includes both Herd Health and Risk Management that will fill the requirements of these new laws.
The Plan comes with guides for necessary answers and information on how to address related issues. Risk Management for the free range producer is discussed and addressed in this plan. Fill in your details, follow the instructions, update the forms as needed and you have a current Herd Health and Risk Management Plan in place.
This pro-forma Environmental Management Plan will help you put together a plan with very little effort. All you have to do is add your relevant information and it is done. Guidelines are given on how to modify the document and present the information that is needed.
Environmental code of practice for Queensland piggeries
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to comply with the code?
No. Whilst it is not a legislative requirement to comply with the code, you are required to exercise a general environmental duty of care under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 . The code outlines measures, and provides guidance to producers as to how a piggery could reasonably be expected to operate to demonstrate an environmental duty of care. The code, and measures outlined in it, may be but one method of benchmarking your performance.
What are the benefits of complying with the code?
Complying with the code will demonstrate your commitment to the environmental sustainability of your operation which may open market opportunities for your product. It will also ensure that you are meeting your general environmental duty under the Environmental Protection Act 1994. Demonstrated compliance with the code may be used as a defence if proceedings are instigated for an alleged environmental breach.
I have ecoshelters, does the code apply to me?
Yes. The environmental outcomes listed in the code are relevant to all types of pig production from sheds through to straw-based and extensive systems. However, not all of the suggested management practices listed to achieve these environmental outcomes will be relevant for some systems.
Can I undertake management practices not listed in the code and still comply?
Yes. The suggested management practices in the code are by no means an exhaustive list. If you can demonstrate that your management practice achieves the key environmental outcomes, then you are considered to be complying with the code and the Environmental Protection Act 1994. The code will be periodically reviewed to capture new management practices.
How can I demonstrate that I am complying with the code?
Monitoring and recording are an essential component of demonstrating that you are achieving the key environmental outcomes listed in the code. Developing and implementing an environmental management plan is also an important step in demonstrating compliance. By preparing an environmental management plan, you can show that the environmental risk for the enterprise has been assessed and minimised where possible.
I only have 100 sows, should I develop an environmental management plan?
All piggeries licensed and approved under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 are required, as a condition of the licence or approval, to develop and implement an environmental management plan. However, all pig producers are encouraged to develop an environmental management plan.
I have seen different formats for environmental management plans, which one should I use?
The format of your plan and the level of detail required will depend on the size and environmental sensitivity of your operation. It is, however, recommended that the plan contain the key elements outlined on page 63 of the code.
Environmental Protection Regulation
Regulations in Queensland differ slightly from other states, where a grandfathering clause means requirements vary depending on your industry experience. From June 2011, people who have a number of years experience caring for pigs can apply to DEEDI (Biosecurity QLD) for accreditation of their competency. These people need to fill out an application form and submit it to DEEDI with appropriate documentation. Queenslanders new to the pig industry need to complete formal training (either the Stockperson Skill set or Certificate 111 in Agriculture Pig Production or equivalent) through a registered training organisation. People in Queensland have until 10th June 2012 to meet these requirements. Contact DEEDI (13 25 23) for more information and/or a copy of the application form.
Standards & Guidelines for the Welfare of PigsCompliance Options
The Act provides for two compliance regimes. The first applies to those not operating under an approved compliance arrangement where inspection and offences will directly apply. The second, by way of a co-regulatory approach with monitoring and reporting regimes, is established jointly through approved compliance arrangements or industry based quality assurance programs. Note: Humane Choice is an approved program. Our QMS will meet self assessment and record keeping requirements.
Existing industry certification regimes, inspection arrangements and quality assurance programs currently operate to demonstrate compliance with standards for customer, markets and trading partners.
The LMA will recognise these mechanisms as "compliance arrangements" to demonstrate effective controls and ongoing compliance with relevant Standards. The authority which governs the particular compliance arrangement (e.g. for a quality assurance program this might by an industry body/organisation) may apply to the DPI to have the program approved under the Act as a mechanism to meet the standards. Guidelines for 'Approved Compliance Arrangements' are available from DPI.
Incentives to operate under an approved compliance arrangement
Livestock operators participating in a 'compliance arrangement' that is approved by the DPI will be deemed compliant with the Standards in the first instance, and not subject to further inspection or audit (other than already required under their existing compliance arrangement).
As an incentive for livestock operators to participate in an approved compliance arrangement, such as an industry based quality assurance program, 'approved' livestock operators will be exempt from the requirement to conduct a systematic risk assessment. Furthermore, they are not liable to be prosecuted for an offence against the regulations unless they have been deemed as 'suspended' from the approved arrangement for prior non-compliance with a standard.
Inspections will focus on livestock operators that are not operating under an approved compliance arrangement.
The Victorian Standards and Guidelines for the Welfare of Pigs, commonly referred to as the Pig Welfare Standards are being adopted into Victorian legislation under the Livestock Management Act 2010 in December 2011. These welfare standards and guidelines are based on the revision of the current Australian Model Code of Practice for Animals - Pigs (3rd edition 2007).
Who do the Pig Welfare Standards apply to?
The Standards will apply to all persons (livestock operators) involved in a pig farming operation. This includes stock persons, supervisors, managers and piggery owners.http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/about-agriculture/legislation-regulation/animal-welfare-legislation/livestock-management-legislation-and-regulations/introduction-to-pig-welfare-standards-and-guidelines
DPI VIC Info Note_Pig Welfare Standards_Jan 2012.pdf
DPI VIC Pig welfare standards A5_8 Sept 2011.pdf
Council approval is required for all intensive pig production in Victoria, no matter what size the piggery is. Intensive production is defined by the National Environmental Guidelines - Piggeries and simply put, means animals that are fed for productions.
Your land will have to have the correct zoning if you are to farm pigs.
Code of Practice - Piggeries
The "Code of Practice Piggeries 1992" is the current code for all piggery developments in Victoria. It specifies minimal standards that apply to new piggeries or where there are substantial modifications to existing piggeries. It is designed to assist municipal councils, pig producers and planning authorities in the proper establishment and operation of new piggeries or where there are major modifications to existing piggeries.
The Code is incorporated in the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes in Victoria. Compliance with the Code is mandatory for all new piggeries or substantial piggery expansions that require a planning permit.
A review of this 1992 version of the Code has been underway for some time but a revised Code is yet to be released. The 1992 code remains in effect and planning decisions should be based on the 1992 Code.
Code of Practice Piggeries 1992
Code of Practice - Commercial Pig Production
Summary of key legal requirements for small-scale pig farmers
(‘Small-scale’ is defined as less than 20 sows or 200 pigs.)
Council approval to keep pigs – a council may order that the occupier of particular premises may only keep a specified number of pigs, and that those pigs must be kept in a specified manner. A council will take particular interest if your premises are in a sensitive area, such as a catchment area. See section 124 of the Local Government Act 1993.
Distance of piggery from human habitation – Schedule 2 (Part 5, Division 1) of the Local Government (General) Regulations 2005 specifies a distance of 60 metres from the piggery (or pig manure) to the nearest human habitation.
Feeding pigs – it is traditional to feed food waste (swill) to pigs. Some food wastes are prohibited substances. It is illegal to feed meat, meat products or anything containing meat to pigs. Restaurant or bakery waste that contains meat products is also prohibited. The fine is $11 000. See section 20FB of the Stock Diseases Act 1923 and clause 60 of the Stock Diseases Regulation 2004.
Selling pigs – swine brands. It is a legal requirement that all pigs greater than 25 kg body weight should be branded with a registered swine brand before sale in a saleyard or slaughter in an abattoir. See Part 3 Division 2 of the Stock Diseases Regulation 2004. Rural Lands Protection Boards handle applications for swine brands. If a farmer does not have their own registered swine brand, they may apply to the RLPB for application of the crown brand.
Selling pigs – PigPass National Vendor Declaration (NVD) and PigPass Quality Assurance (QA). All pigs going for sale in a saleyard or slaughter at any abattoir must be
accompanied by a PigPass NVD. This includes pigs being killed at service abattoirs for a person’s own consumption. Anyone carrying out an emergency or once-only sale can apply to the Rural Lands Protection Board for an emergency PigPass NVD. Anyone wishing to regularly sell pigs or utilise the services of a service abattoir must apply to Australian Pork Limited for PigPass NVD and PigPass QA.
6. Feral Pigs – feral pigs are a declared pest under Part 11 of the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998. Under the Act, it is an offence to transport, keep or breed from feral pigs in NSW
– substantial fines apply. More information on regulations applying to feral pigs may be obtained from the Rural Lands Protection Board or NSW DPI.
State Acts and Regulations
All NSW state legislation and Regulations may be viewed in detail at the NSW Government legislation website (www.legislation.nsw.gov.au)
Local Government Act 1993
The Local Government Act 1993 provides the framework for the operation of local government. Section 124 of the Act specifically allows a council to prevent the keeping of pigs in sensitive areas such as catchment areas.
Local Government (General) Regulation 2005
Schedule 2 Part 5 of the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 makes specific reference to pigs, stating that swine (pigs) must be kept in a manner that does not cause pollution to any water supply. It also states that ‘swine must not be kept (and swine’s dung must not be deposited) within 60 metres (or such greater distance as the council may determine in a particular case) of a dwelling, shop, office, factory, church or other place of public worship, workshop, school or public place in a city, town, village or other urban part of an area’. This indicates that pigs (whether kept as pets or otherwise) do not belong in suburbia.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 institutes a system of environmental planning and assessment for NSW. The State Environmental Planning Policy No. 30 – Intensive Agriculture (SEPP 30) is made under this act. The SEPP 30 requires piggeries with a capacity to accommodate 200 or more pigs or 20 or more breeding sows to obtain development consent from the local council. The SEPP also sets out matters to be taken into account by the local council in determining whether or not to grant development consent to such a
PRIMEFACT 712, RESPONSIBLE PIG OWNERSHIP: INFORMATION FOR LOCAL COUNCILS AND PIG OWNERS 2
piggery. Note that each local council may have its own requirements for the development and operation of piggeries.
Protection of the Environment Operations Act
The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 provides for the management of water, air, odour and noise pollution through a licensing regime. Persons or corporations who carry on a livestock-intensive industry, including piggeries that are intended to accommodate more than 2 000 pigs or 200 breeding sows, must hold a licence under section 48 of the Act. An unlicensed occupier of premises with a piggery accommodating more than 2 000 pigs or 200 breeding sows is guilty of an offence, and liable for a penalty of up to $1 million if a corporation and $250 000 if an individual. Additional penalties apply for each day the offence continues.
Stock Diseases Act 1923
The Stock Diseases Act 1923 regulates the control of stock diseases in NSW with restrictions on the movement of diseased stock and obligations on farmers to notify the government of certain diseases in protected areas. Owners of diseased stock will be required to comply with orders that may include quarantine, destruction or limitations on movement of diseased stock, including pigs.
Stock Diseases Regulation 2004
The Stock Diseases Regulation 2004 outlines the requirements for:
the testing of stock, including pigs, for diseases such as anthrax and tuberculosis (Part 2)
the identification of stock for transaction purposes (Part 3). Pigs over 25kg must be branded with a registered swine brand, which includes property identification. Pigs without this brand cannot be sold at saleyards or sent to abattoirs
the feeding of substances to pigs (Clause 60). This clause specifically lists substances which are prohibited for feeding to pigs (also called swill feeding). This is to prevent the introduction of exotic diseases, such as African swine fever and foot and mouth disease. It is illegal to feed to pigs any meat, meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat, as well as carcases, parts of carcases (such as feathers or hides), or the excreta of animals or humans.
Stock (Chemical Residues) Act 1975
The Stock (Chemical Residues) Act 1975 seeks to prevent the slaughter for human consumption of stock (including pigs) which contain certain concentrations of chemical residues, or which are otherwise chemically affected, and to prevent stock from becoming chemically affected. The list of regulations for this Act is contained in the Stock (Chemical Residues) Regulation 2005.