PIGPASS will track pig movements across the country in the name of biosecurity, starting this week.
The new national reporting scheme for the pork industry will bring it into line with the cattle, sheep and goat industries, and agriculture minister David Littleproud said it would strengthen Australia’s biosecurity.
The minister welcomed mandatory reporting of all pig movements under the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS), which will be introduced by all state and territory governments from this week.
“The NLIS for pork, known as PigPass, uses ear tags or tattoos to identify animals,” he said.
“All pig movements onto farms, saleyards, showgrounds and abattoirs are documented in a database using a National Vendor Declaration. This database is used by state and territory governments to trace livestock in an emergency.”
Mr Littleproud said Pigpass means animals can be identified quickly and allows the property of birth and residence to be easily located if there were ever a food safety issue or exotic disease outbreak.
“This would be important if Australia had say a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak—it would help find the source of disease and stop its spread,” he said.
“PigPass will help Australia keep its excellent reputation for delivering high quality and safe produce.”
Mr Littleproud noted that there are more than 1400 pig farms across Australia and the pork industry is worth more than $1.3bn and Australia exported $124 million worth of pig meat exports in 2016–17.
“I encourage farmers and processors to familiarise themselves with PigPass,” Mr Littleproud said.