The following information was correct at the time of publishing (September 2018), requirements and changes can be made by either DEFRA or the BPA at any time, so please checking these sources too. DEFRA Pig Identification and BPA Identification
Pedigree pigs are required to be identified whether they’re birth notified or registered. There are several ways you can identify pedigree pigs, Tagging, Notching or Tatoo, each of these methods is BPA approved. The following will cover off the identification types and how they are applied
Birth Notified Pigs
Birth notified pedigree pigs should have a single ear tag. The male side of the tag must have the breeders herd mark prefixed with UK. For example UK AB 1234. The female side should have the pigs unique ID, this the breeders 3 letter HDL (provided by the BPA) i.e ABC and the pigs ID i.e 123. The below picture illustrates this
If you have purchased birth notified weaners to raise for meat, you are required to send them to slaughter with your herd mark, again prefixed with UK. You can either apply a slaughter tag or use a slap mark. The picture below shows the slaughter tag applied – this does not necessarily need to be in the same ear as the breeder tag.
Slap marks are only required to have your Herd mark and should be applied to each of the pigs front shoulders.
You can either double tag (tags need to conform as per the birth notified pigs) and should be placed in both ears, similar to below
You can also ear notch, using a notching tool, the notch positions identify the pig based on its ID. for more info notching see the BPA notching guide.
Or you can tattoo the pigs HDL ID to the inner ear using a tattoo plate.
Ear Tag Supplier
There are many companies out there which supply tags, you need to be sure the company provides DEFRA certified tags. Search for companies like Shearwell Data, Fearings or Daltons
Ear Notching Tool
There are less ear notching tool providers than tag suppliers. Fearings off a quality tool at a good price, but there are others if you search for “Ear Notching Tool”
Ear Tattoo Tool
Again there are limited suppliers, like the notching tools, Fearings are a good place to start.