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Buying Your First Pig

The importance of purchasing foundation stock that is fully BPA pedigree registered cannot be over-emphasised. It is only through buying pedigree recorded stock that you have a true and certain knowledge of parentage of the pig in question. 

You can check that a pig is pedigree registered or eligible for registration via our interactive pages.

Any pig that is offered for sale should be ear-marked in one of the approved ways. Equally its birth should have been notified to the BPA. Before purchase, ask to be shown the litter certification, physical ear-marking and note the number. The number in the pig’s ear should match the number shown on the pedigree paperwork

Tattooing is the recommended method of identification for all suitable breeds and should be clear and distinct. For breeds which cannot be tattooed due to colour one of the following options can be used.

Ear Notching will require reference to the appropriate illustrated diagrams. Ask the vendor to demonstrate and translate the notch values. Note down what you see and are told and verify this with the BPA. Click here to see diagrams for ear notching.

Tagging must be with pre-printed plastic tags which carry the DEFRA herdmark on one side and your HDL followed by the pig's unique ear number on the other.

Remember if a pig is not identified in one of these three ways then it is not pedigree.
For more information on accepted identifications, click here.

The vendor may already have obtained a BPA Herd Book certificate for your pig, showing the ear number. This can then be checked against the pig’s physical marking. It is also important to check that the name of the owner on the pedigree paperwork is the same as the person selling you the pig. However, it is more likely that you will be offered stock described as “eligible” for the Herd Book (ie it has been birth notified but not yet registered).

Assuming that all recording is correct, arrange for the pig that you are buying to be entered in the Herd Book. Ask the vendor to complete the paperwork and send it to the BPA on the required form, as you will probably wish to record subsequent progeny from this pig.

The breeder will name the pig, and must sign the Herd Book application. Ensure that your name and address, as purchaser, is on the form, so that you, as well as the breeder, will receive a copy of the Herd Book certificate.


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