With the introduction of the Real Welfare programme, BPEX, an organisation for pig levy payers in England and a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), has reached another milestone with a web portal going live to allow vets to submit data from the paper forms.
This means the information can be uploaded straight into the database which is now starting to build up a picture of the national herd. Research Projects Manager Katja Stoddart said: “Vets can use paper forms to collect Real Welfare data or they will be able to use an app on a smartphone, though not all vets will want to use that option.
“The development of the app to allow instant electronic collection and submission of data, along with instant feedback, is now almost complete and this will be rolled out during May. “We are prepared for there to be teething problems – there are bound to be with something like this. However, any problems identified will be resolved as rapidly as possible by the BPEX team and the software developer.
“We have also held a number of webinars specifically for vets to train them on using the web portal and submitting the data. We do plan to hold more over the next couple of months. “We are also working on the functionality of the web portal aiming to set it up so producers will be able to log in to the web portal to pre-populate information on the farm layout before the vet’s visit. This could ultimately be extended still further to allow producers to have immediate access to their scores.” Red Tractor Pigs Chairman Mike Sheldon said: “I think it is great that we are now turning Real Welfare from a project into a reality and getting to grips with the detail of making it work as efficiently as possible.
“I am grateful to all the vets, producers, advisers and staff who are contributing with their questions, solutions and ideas to make everything work smoothly. “I have no doubt that we will have some bumps in the road, but I am equally sure we will get there and deliver a feature of pig farm assurance that is highly valued by our customers.”