Why do they mark pigs?

Ear-notching helps identify a pig’s litter and which one of the litter it is, giving each pig a unique identity number. Notches are placed in one of five locations in the pig’s right ear — to show the litter number — and in one of three locations in the left ear — to show the individual pig number.

What does a blue mark on a pig mean?

The slapmark allows clear identification of pigs and carcases at slaughter and so provide traceability. It is the responsibility of the pig keeper to ensure that every pig being dispatched for slaughter has been clearly and correctly slapmarked. Apply slapmark to target area (blue area on photo)

What is pig tattooing for?

After all the hard work and financial investment put into your hogs, your success comes down to a clear and readable tattoo. It is this tattoo that ensures you are being paid for each finished hog you have produced and shipped to the packer.

What is a herd mark for pigs?

A Herdmark is a second form of identification that goes in the front of the name of each pig you record. We allow you to record as a Member of the NSR or as a NonMember. Members receive discounted litter rates and a one year subscription to the Seedstock Edge magazine, along with voting privileges.

How do you make a pig slap mark?

Key to good slap marking Recharge ink pad little and often (every 40 pigs). Choose a place where you can control the flow of pigs in order to slap both shoulders effectively. Apply the slap in the correct place both front shoulder areas. Slap the pig firmly ensuring you make contact squarely on the shoulders.

How do you mark a pig?


  1. Pig identification is necessary for accurate performance records.
  2. Pigs can be marked with ear notches, ear tattoos or ear tags.
  3. Ear notching is the most practical method for commercial farms.
  4. Ear tags are useful for re-identifying breeding stock.

Do people use pigs to practice tattooing?

Pig skin is anatomically similar to human skin, making it an attractive practice option. Some experienced tattooists suggest fresh pig skins are best, which fetch around $6 per sheet. Artists have about one hour with the skin before it dries out.

Do tattooists practice on pigs?

Wim Delvoye began tattooing live pigs in 1997 in the US, before doing it in China from 2004 to 2008, where animal welfare laws are more lax. Up to three artists applied a tattoo simultaneously while each pig was under anaesthetic, and carers regularly moisturised the pigs’ skin.

Do you have to register pigs?

You must register as a pig keeper, have a licence for any movement of pigs on to or off your premises, and keep records of such movements. Pigs are required to be identified with an ear tag / tattoo / slapmark consisting of the herd mark allocated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Do I need a herd number for pigs?

You must register with the Department of Agriculture and get a pig herd number in order to own or trade in pigs. This applies to anyone who wishes to own pigs, however few.

Where do you tattoo a pig?

Hog Shoulder Slapping Procedure The front shoulder is the ideal location for a tattoo, as it will be conveniently read as the animal is being processed at the packing facility. A vertical placement of the tattoo will result in a parallel mark when the tattoo is being read at the abattoir.

How do you get a tattoo on a pig?

Use only carbon-based tattooing paste or ink. Reapply paste or ink to the needles before each pig is tattoo branded. All needles must pierce the skin — take a good solid swing making sure that the face of the brand lands flat on the skin — it should leave a rectangular mark on the skin surface.

What do I need to know about tagging pigs?

Pigs less than 25kg body weight must be tagged with an approved ear tag. This tag will be printed with the pig tattoo brand number. Pigs less than 25kg body weight must not be tattooed. Pigs over 25kg body weight are required to be tattooed with the owner’s tattoo brand. When moving pigs off the property, owners must complete a PigPass NVD.

What color ink do you use to identify a pig?

The color ink used largely depends on the type of pig. Green ink tends to show up better on lighter-skinned breeds. Black ink is used almost exclusively for pigs destined for slaughter. While ear tags may be a perfectly reliable way to identify one’s livestock, they do sometimes fall off.

How will I be advised when my Pic and tattoo brand is allocated?

Applicants will be advised by post when their new PIC and tattoo brand has been allocated. Pigs must be identified before being moved off a property (except where change of ownership does not occur) with either a tag or tattoo brand depending on their body weight.