Common Swine Industry Audit FAQs

Editor's note: The following article was written by

PORK Network

Editor JoAnn Alumbaugh

It was originally published in the

April issue of

PORK Network.

Dr. Monique Pairis-Garcia, who presented a Sow- Bridge webinar on the Common Swine Industry Audit, and Dr. Chris Rademacher, who spoke to veterinarians at the recent American Association of Swine Veterinarians meeting, answer some commonly asked questions.

Who will get audited?
Pairis-Garcia: The packer is in charge of determining what farms are audited. Some packers have every barn audited over a 12-month period, while other packers will stratify these audits to cover all barns over a three-year period. The answer to this question really depends on what packer to whom you're selling your pigs.

What if my employees don't speak English?
Pairis-Garcia: We've talked about this during the training process, and this is where having a bilingual company representative would be really critical. It's a difficult but very real issue. The templates can be in either Spanish or English, so I rely heavily on the records but it's important to have someone on-site who can communicate with the auditor.

What will auditors look for regarding euthanasia?
Rademacher: Make sure employees are knowledgeable about how animals are euthanized and how they decide when to euthanize an animal. This can be a bit of a grey area but it is described as "animals that have no prospect for improvement or are not responding to care and treatment after two days of intensive care unless recommended by a vet." If euthanasia is observed, the farm will get a score for this measurement (but don't hold an animal from being euthanized just because the auditor is coming). Auditors will want to know animals are handled humanely during the process, and that your caretakers know how to observe humane treatment during euthanasia as well as how they confirm insensibility and how they confirm death. They will be asked. The auditor MUST observe the process in order to score it (otherwise it will be marked as Not Applicable).

Does one audit cover all my sites?
Rademacher: No - the packer will determine the sites to be audited.

What happens after the audit?
Rademacher: The packer will get a copy of the audit and the producer will get a copy. Treatment, mortality and daily observation records must be retained for 12 months. Information on standard operating procedures and policies, the farm's euthanasia plan, caretaker training logs the zero tolerance for animal abuse policy and reporting mechanism, PQA Plus site status, internal site assessments, and the written emergency action plan must be present at all times.