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Stackyard News Sep 06

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    AI Quality Standard Launched

One of the final links in the assurance chain – from farm to fork – has been completed with the launch by the British Pig Executive (BPEX) of the artificial insemination quality standard.
Quality Standard AI

The standard - developed in collaboration with leading British pig breeding companies - was launched today (Sep 7) by BPEX Chairman Stewart Houston as part of a wider initiative to improve pig breeding performance.

BPEX consulted the industry on the development of the standard and drew on the expertise of Dr Hanneke Feitsma of the Institute of Pig Genetics in the Netherlands. Now advice leaflets will be circulated through the pig breeding companies and the standard will be promoted across the whole industry.

Stewart said: “The aim of the Quality Standard is to keep British Artificial Insemination standards at the forefront of international competitiveness. This is just one element of a BPEX programme of activity to improve reproductive performance on pig farms in England and Wales.”

The programme includes:

  • Promoting best practice on-farm to improve performance
  • Recording and setting new targets for breeding herd performance
  • Setting up the BPEX AI Reference Laboratory
  • The BPEX Standard for porcine semen quality in Pig Artificial Insemination (AI) Centres and assurance audits

The BPEX Standard for porcine semen quality in Pig Artificial Insemination (AI) Centres together with the BPEX Pig AI Standard Reference Laboratory will provide pig farmers with an unprecedented assurance that the semen delivered to their farms meets international standards and can be used with confidence.

Stewart said; “Britain is currently producing just over 19 pigs sold per sow per year and the French, for example, are managing 22 there is some catching up to do. Our main competitors have thrown the performance gauntlet down but BPEX aims to help pig farmers to rise to the challenge!

BPEX worked with major breeding companies on the development of the standard and is grateful to ACMC, Hermitage Seaborough, JSR Genetics, PIC UK and Rattlerow Farms, for their help and co-operation.


The AI Standard is divided into 10 major areas and within those there are more than 70 individual standards which must be maintained. It is subject to an annual independent audit. Copies of the standard are available on the BPEX website,

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