Additional veterinary surgeons are being sought to help test the Real Welfare smartphone app, which is now out in the field undergoing evaluation.

BPEX, which represents pig levy payers in England, and is a division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, will pay vets for their time carrying out the testing, but there would need to be regular submissions of data to give both android and iOS a good workout.

Project manager Katja Stoddart said: “It has been a long and sometimes difficult journey, but the app is now performing well on both platforms and we are receiving positive feedback from those using it.

“That does not mean there are no problems, but those that do crop up are now minor and can easily be dealt with.

“We still need a handful more vets willing to do the testing, but we must stress we need regular data submission to make it worthwhile.”

Ultimately the app will replace the bureau service, which runs until the end of December, so vets will need to change over before the bureau closes.

Ms Stoddart said the portal would continue so vets could do the assessments in paper form then transfer via a computer, but it would be much quicker and easier in the long run to input in real time using the app.

“This will also mean the data is available immediately for the vet to discuss with the producer.

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