By Heidi Carroll, South Dakota State University Extension Field Specialist-Livestock Stewardship
The new version of Pork Quality Assurance Plus, Version 4.0, will be released June 5. Producers preparing to recertify their site status will want to review their previous site assessments and take note of a few minor changes that were made to the new assessment form. Table 1 outlines these changes.
These changes are not drastic updates to the assessment criteria. Though preparing for your next site assessment does take a little time. Remember to finish any corrective action plans from previous assessments. Review required records and standard operating procedures, and update them as needed. Test emergency and euthanasia equipment and provide maintenance accordingly. Make sure all posted emergency information is current and accessible to employees. Complete internal site assessments to meet the semi-annual (non-breeding sites) or quarterly (breeding sites) requirement. Finally, train or retrain employees in their daily tasks along with reviewing farm SOPs and the zero-tolerance policy with everyone.
The PQA program is about continuous improvement of animal care to ensure food safety and animal welfare. When producers work with their veterinarian and PQA adviser to achieve successful implementation of good production practices we all do our part to provide consumers with confidence in the pork supply.