The conundrum of tagging and registering cross-bred pigs
QI am new to pig breeding and I bought an in-pig sow a few months ago which has now farrowed. The litter is cross-bred and I am planning to sell the piglets as weaners in a few weeks’ time. Do I need to birth-notify or register them in any way and do I have to tag them before I am able to sell them?
ALiz Shankland says: Congratulations on your first litter. If they are cross-bred, they don’t need to be birth-notified or registered. Only registered, pedigree pigs are birth-notified with the British Pig Association (or the relevant breed society in the case of Kunekunes and British Lops) and, of those, only the piglets that meet the relevant breed standard should then be registered.
As for tagging, if they were a) born on your holding, b) are under a year old and c) are moving directly to another farm or smallholding, they do not need to be tagged. Instead, you can spray a temporary paint mark on them (such as a green stripe, red spot, etc) and put that down on the online licence when it asks for an identification mark. The online form will also specifically ask whether or not they are moving on a temporary mark.
However, if you wanted to take them to a market to sell — at any age — or if they were over a year old and moving anywhere, including to slaughter, they would need to be tagged with your herd number.
So, in short, if you are selling to another farm or smallholding, just use a paint spray mark and describe it on the online licence. Explain to the new keeper that the pigs will need to be tagged with their herd mark when/if they go for slaughter or are sold on.
Cross-bred pigs do not need to be birth-notified or registered