Guidance

Reporting deadweight pig prices: guidance for abattoirs

Slaughterhouses in Great Britain with a high throughput of pig carcases must send weekly pricing data to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Deadweight Price Reporting (DWPR) is the EU scheme whereby larger abattoirs must submit weekly bulk price data for pig carcases. The EU uses deadweight price information collected from all member states to decide whether it needs to do anything to support the industry.

Which abattoirs need to report

Abattoirs that slaughter 500 or more clean pigs per week on a yearly average basis must report prices weekly to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Abattoirs also need to keep and provide details of any supplementary payments made after the initial data has been submitted. This information must be sent to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) only.

Where and when to send information

You must email the weekly price information to dead.weight@ahdb.org.uk by Monday evening of each week.

Supplementary payment information must be emailed to MTS.Carlisle@rpa.gov.uk within 7 days from the end of the quarter the payment was made in. You do not have to submit this data to AHDB.

Which animals to include

Your weekly data to AHDB must relate to individual pigs slaughtered during the previous week (from Monday to Sunday).

Supplementary payment information must relate to individual pigs which have received an additional payment after the original data was submitted to AHDB. If the payment was made before the details relating to that carcase are submitted to AHDB, the extra payment will be included in the original data you supply to AHDB.

Only report the prices of animals that you purchase from suppliers on a deadweight basis and that have been graded against the Union scale.

Do not report:

  • prices for animals purchased from liveweight markets
  • prices for animals killed in your abattoir for a third party on a contract-kill basis
  • flat rate prices
  • organic and free range prices
  • Sows
  • Fully condemned records

How to report on deadweight pricing

Weekly Information to be sent to AHDB

You must supply the following for each animal, in this order:

  • date of slaughter
  • EU carcase class category
  • cold weight, minus flare fat, kidneys, diaphragm and tongue, if applicable
  • price (per/kg)
  • kill number

Each of these pieces of data is represented by numbers and/or letters as described below. These number and letter codes form a long string for each animal.

Dressing specification

Data on dressing specifications lets AHDB adjust prices to be comparable.

If you choose to use the UK specification you must make AHDB aware that you have used it.

You must dress pig carcases according to either the EU or the UK dressing specification. You can’t use your own dressing specification.

The EU specification

Before weighing the carcase, you must remove the:

  • tongue
  • bristles (hair)
  • hooves
  • genital organs
  • flare fat
  • kidney
  • diaphragm

The UK specification

In the UK, abattoirs are allowed to present pig carcases according to the ‘UK specification’.

This means dressing carcases the same as EU specification, but leaving the following parts:

  • kidneys
  • flare fat
  • diaphragm

You can leave the tongue in or take it out.

Weigh carcases

You must record carcase weights as they appear on the actual scale display. You must not round the weight up or down.

You must weigh the dressed carcase for its warm weight. Wherever possible, you must do this not more than 45 minutes after the pig has been stuck.

The table below shows the other factors that affect the warm weight that you record for the carcase and the reductions you should apply (also called coefficients).

Carcase presentation Adjustment to weight recorded (coefficient)
Weighed with the kidneys, flare fat and diaphragm in Carcases up to 56kg reduce by 0.7kg;

Carcases between 56.5kg and 74.5kg reduce by 1.1kg;

Carcases of 74.6kg and over reduce by 1.6kg
Weighed with tongue in Reduce by 0.3kg
Weighed more than 45 minutes after the pig has been stuck Reduce by 0.1% for each additional 15 minutes that passes or part thereof

To calculate the cold weight, deduct 2% from the warm weight.

Grade carcases

At the time of weighing, abattoirs registered with the Pig Carcase Grading Scheme must also assess and grade the lean meat content of the carcase.

The approved instruments to use for measuring back fat are:

  • Intra-scope (Optical Probe)
  • Fat-O-Meater (FOM)
  • Hennessy Grading Probe (HGP II)
  • CSB Ultra-Meater
  • AutoFom (fully automatic ultrasonic carcase grading)

You must then use the results to grade the carcase according to this scale:

Lean meat as a percentage of recorded carcase cold weight Grade
60% or more S
55% or more but less than 60% E
50% or more but less than 55% U
45% or more but less than 50% R
40% or more but less than 45% O
less than 40% P

Price

Report the price that you pay the supplier for each animal on delivery to the abattoir, net of VAT. You should report the prices on a gross basis, before any deductions have been made for elements such as procurement, transport, insurance, processing and slaughter, meat inspection, lorry wash, AHDB levy or any other below the line charges.

The following payments should be included:

  • in pence per kilo, rounded either to the nearest whole pence or to one decimal place
  • level delivery bonus paid on slaughter
  • sex bonus (bonus paid if a proportion of pigs are gilts)
  • freedom foods bonus
  • any bonuses paid due to special rearing or feeding programmes
  • haulage allowance

Any bonuses to incentivise delivery times level delivery bonus paid in arrears should not be included.

If you restrict the weight on which a carcase is paid, then report the price per kilo as the total price paid, divided by the actual weight of the carcase.

Kill number

The kill number can be any number of digits, but that number must stay the same for a particular centre. So if your abattoir uses 12-digit kill numbers, but for some reason 11-digit numbers are sometimes assigned, you must add a space or a zero to make sure that 12 numbers appear in the DWPR data string for each animal (do not use tabs).

Supplementary payment information to be sent to RPA

Abattoirs will be provided with a template to record the information needed. Each category and grade which falls under DWPR are included on the template. You need to provide the total number of carcases, total amount of bonus paid and total cold weight (Kg).

You should also send nil returns to RPA.

How to send the data

For detailed advice on the format needed for your weekly data, contact AHDB.

Information about supplementary payments must be emailed to MTS.Carlisle@rpa.gov.uk.

Inspections

If your abattoir reports deadweight prices, your records will be inspected. If your abattoir is in England or Wales, it will be inspected by the Livestock and Meat Inspectorate of RPA.

The checks will be carried out during routine unannounced inspections of pig abattoirs.

What the inspector will do

The inspector will have the price information you supplied to AHDB for a selected week. They will check this information against your abattoir records.

The inspector will reconcile:

  • the information on kill sheets against producer invoices
  • the information on printouts from AHDB of prices you have submitted against payment records

If the inspector finds problems, RPA may take enforcement action against you for not complying with DWPR requirements.

What you must do

As an abattoir operator you must give inspecting officers all reasonable assistance and information they need to carry out the inspection. This includes making records available for inspection.

You must not deny entry to your premises for an inspection or obstruct an inspector (including by giving false information). If you do, you are committing an offence, which could lead directly to prosecution, and a possible fine or imprisonment.

Enforcement and penalties if you do not comply

If a licensed abattoir that you operate does not comply with the relevant regulations, you may be committing an offence which could lead directly to prosecution, and a possible fine or imprisonment. If your abattoir is in England or Wales, RPA can take a range of actions. The RPA Penalty Notice Guidance (PDF, 28.5KB, 4 pages) provides further information on what RPA does when abattoirs breach the rules.

RPA can issue an informal warning letters to give you time to resolve a problem.

Types of enforcement action

RPA can take 3 levels of action:

  • enforcement notices, which are issued where the inspector finds the problem has not been resolved when they visit again; the notice states the offence the inspector believes you are committing and specifies the measures you must take within a specific time; it also informs you of your right to appeal
  • penalty notices, issued if you do not comply with an enforcement notice; a penalty notice imposes a fine and gives you 28 days to pay
  • criminal prosecution, if you do not pay the fine imposed in the penalty notice; you can also be prosecuted if you fail to comply with an enforcement notice.

If a high proportion of errors are involved, or if you have committed an offence before, RPA can issue an enforcement notice without first giving a warning letter. The same goes for serious offences relating to a failure to notify, records and marks.

If you have committed two or more offences before, RPA can issue a penalty notice or initiate a prosecution straight away. If an inspector finds more than one problem on a visit, RPA will consider these separately for enforcement purposes. Thus you may receive more than one notice after an inspection.

If you feel there was evidence that the inspector did not see during the inspection that may impact any enforcement please email or write to the Meat Technical Schemes team at RPA as soon as possible, with the evidence.

Fines

If RPA prosecutes you, and you are convicted of an offence relating to marking or labelling carcases in a way that is likely to mislead, there is no limit to the fine the court can give you.

How to appeal

The only type of action you can appeal against is an enforcement notice. To do this make an appeal to a magistrates court, which can make an order revoking the notice.

You have 1 month from the date of the enforcement notice to make an appeal to the magistrates court. Read old guidance on the National Archives website

Relevant regulations

  • The Carcase Classification and Price Reporting (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/1164)

These implement the following EU regulations:

Contact

RPA’s Meat Technical Schemes (MTS) team administers DWPR for England and Wales.

Meat Technical Schemes

Rural Payments Agency
Eden Bridge House
Lowther Street

Carlisle
Cumbria
CA3 8DX

Published 15 November 2018