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Pig Breeding


Porcine semen collection centres are regulated under the European Communities (Trade in Porcine Semen-Animal Health) Regulations, 1993 (S.I. No. 242 of 1993). Trade in porcine semen can only be carried out in accordance with these Regulations.

Please note persons intending to apply for an approval for a semen collection centre are advised to contact the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the outset so as to obtain full information on the approval process.


Department approval for an organisation to maintain a herd-book or register is granted under the European Communities (Breeding Pig Herd-Book and Register) Regulations, 1994 (S.I. No. 151 of 1994).

Application Forms and further information on the above can be obtained from Livestock Breeding Section, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Farnham Street, Cavan. Tel: 049 4368293, Fax: 049 4361486.


The EU system of grading pig carcases is implemented in Ireland by the Pig Carcase (Grading) Regulations, 1988 to 2001. All pig slaughter plants, where, on average over the course of a year, more than 200 pigs are killed per week, must grade pig carcases in accordance with their lean meat content. Grading must be carried out in accordance with one of the methods approved by the EU Commission for use in Ireland. Grade shall be indicated on the skin of the shank or ham by a number being the estimated lean meat content or the corresponding grade letter. The purpose of the grading system is to facilitate transparency in the area of pricing and to assist fair payment based on carcase quality. The operator of a slaughter plant must give to pig suppliers a statement showing, in respect of each pig, the carcase number, carcase weight, estimated percentage lean meat content and the total price paid.


The purpose of this programme is to reduce any possible risk of public health problems arising from the consumption of pork and pigmeat products. A new programme commenced on 1 January 2010 which covers all aspects of the food chain. Under the revised programme, underpinned by the Diseases of Animals Act 1966 (Control of salmonella in swine) Order 2009, all pig producers supplying more than 200 pigs for slaughter in the previous 12 months must have an on- farm salmonella control plan in place and must establish a salmonella prevalence for their herd. Additional measures apply for breeding herds.

Further information on the above services can be obtained from Meat and Milk Policy Division,Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 6072735.