Of all the agricultural industries in North Carolina, the pork industry is among the most highly regulated. Our producers must meet or exceed worker health and safety requirements, as well as comply with environmental regulations, at local, state, and federal levels.
State officials annually inspect every hog farm in the state. N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NC DEQ) is the lead stewardship agency for the preservation and protection of North Carolina’s exceptional natural resources.
Certifications & Programs
To help pork producers understand and comply with regulations, producer-funded organizations, universities, and government agencies sponsor educational seminars, workshops, and certifications.
Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA+)
Pork Quality Assurance®, a producer education and certification program, was developed by pork producers in 1989, and in 2007 the program was enhanced and became known as Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus®). PQA Plus is a producer-driven program they can use to ensure U.S. pork products are safe and of the highest quality, and animals raised for food are cared for in a way ensuring their well-being.
Transport Quality Assurance® (TQA®)
TQA® is a program that helps swine transporters, producers, and handlers understand how to handle, move, and transport pigs and the potential impacts of those actions on pig well-being and/or pork quality. Anyone who handles or transports pigs, or sets protocols for handling pigs, is a potential influencer of animal well-being and pork quality.
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA)
The National Pork Board fully implemented Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) as the quality assurance program for swine exhibitors. The Youth PQA Good Production Practices are within the YQCA content, only identified in a different way.