The Irish Pig Society Ltd has been over a year in its development. Different farmers have given differing ideas and ideals of what they feel is needed for the ‘non- intensive’ pig farming industry of Ireland.
The Society has taken into account these opinions and developed the objectives of the society as such;
- Create an umbrella organisation for pig breeders in Ireland and interested or related organisations.
- Create an Irish Herd Book and Registration of breeds of Pedigree pigs in Ireland
- Support and promote new and existing Pig enterprises in Ireland
- Organise Shows and Competitions supporting all of the above.
Using these objectives as a template for further interpretation and development the Society aims to provide and share information advice and support to all pig owners. As a committee our knowledge is not exhaustive and so we welcome any input from within the pig community and without.
As an umbrella organisation we hope to gain memberships and cooperation from related industries such as feed suppliers, slaughter houses and processors. Members will have access to up to date information, regulations and guidelines governing the owning, welfare, health and care of animals with links to relevant external sites. As new information from associated organisations becomes available our members will have instant access to such and will be able to action any requirements. Also, for example in the event of a disease outbreak, the Society would be able to notify all members quickly and effectively saving precious and vital time.
Whilst we cannot guarantee having all ‘non-intensive’ farmers as members, we are aiming to make it attractive enough for as many people as possible to join. We are also available for main stream, intensive farmers to join our organisation and hope that they see the possible and potential benefits of what we are aiming to achieve.
We are an inclusive Society and everyone with an interest in pigs is welcome to become a member.
The Herd Book will ensure that Pedigree pigs being bred in Ireland are registered as Pedigree Irish Pigs. Discussions initially with numerous pig farmers showed that whilst many farmers felt that they had pedigree pigs they had no certification or registration for these animals.
As a direct result of Pedigree registration, high quality breeding and optimal animal health awareness and application, will ensure the pork being produced and purchased through farmers markets, artisan shops, direct sales and restaurants will be of the best quality and offering least risk to the general public. At present, without a support network of information and resources there is little monitoring or regulating this rapidly growing industry.
Much farming in Ireland is carried out through historic ‘handing down’ of ideas and information especially ‘this is how my father/ grandfather did it’! Many of these approaches are outdated and in so many cases detrimental the welfare of the animals. The Society aims to spread good welfare and health practice information through the farming community without reprimand or fear but through education, understanding and clear communication.
In order for the Society to implement all of these objectives it will take time and money. The Society is a voluntary non profit making organisation and so relies on sponsorship and donations, along with membership and animal registrations and any profits made from the show.
The Committee are aiming to promote the Society by being very active in the agricultural calendar. At present pigs are not being shown in Ireland at any of the local or national agricultural events however some have been invited to attend in the ‘pets corner’. The Society aims to introduce pig classes for showing to these events as well represent the Society for membership applications and sharing of information.