RSPCA welfare standards for pigs

Our detailed RSPCA welfare standards have been developed to represent good practice in the care and welfare of commercially-farmed pigs at all stages of their lives.

An addendum to the standards was published in March 2021. The new and revised standards featured in the addendum need to be read in conjunction with the full set of standards dated October 2016.

A further addendum was added in April 2022. The new and revised standards featured in this addendum need to be read in conjunction with the full set of standards dated November 2016 and the Addendum dated March 2021.

Information on tail docking, teeth clipping/grinding, nose ringing and the use of Improvac©

Under the RSPCA welfare standards for pigs tail docking, tooth clipping and nose ringing of pigs must only be carried out under exceptional circumstances. RSPCA Assured members must annually request and receive permission from the RSPCA's Farm Animals Department to undertake these procedures. Guidance to assist RSPCA Assured members with such requests is available in our Guidance on potentially injurious husbandry procedures for pigs.

RSPCA pig standards technical advisory group

Members of the advisory group are selected on the basis of the specific expertise they bring to the group in different areas of pig care. Members include:

  • Kate Parkes (RSPCA pig specialist)
  • Emma Baxter (SRUC)
  • Sarah Horsfield (Pilgrims)
  • Charlotte Duggleby (Ian Mosey)
  • Lizzie Bently (Yorkshire Farmers)
  • Mike White (Wayland Farms)
  • Claire Barber (AHDB Pork)
  • Keith Wiseman (Rattlerow)
  • Stephen Youngs (Oakwood Veterinary Group)
  • Emilie Wix (RSPCA Assured)

Summary of meeting notes