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University of Minnesota Extension

Common Swine Industry Audit

Quick facts

The Common Swine Industry Audit (CSIA) aims to provide consumers greater assurance of the care taken by farmers and pork processors to improve animal well-being and food safety. The audit tool builds on the Pork Quality Assurance Plus® (PQA Plus®) program. It also expands to serve as a single, common audit platform for the pork industry and to minimize duplication of individual packers that have their own audits.

Resources including the complete CSIA instructions, standards and audit tool, as well as SOPs and record templates can be found on the National Pork Board's website.

What does the audit cover? 

The CSIA covers 27 key aspects of swine care and pre-harvest pork safety through all phases of production. The CSIA covers the full life cycle of the pig while on the farm, which includes pig handling and load-out for transportation. The CSIA is designed to be independent of housing design, size of operation or geographical location. Four primary areas are reviewed during the audit: records, animals, facilities and caretakers.

Animal benchmarking makes up 50 percent of the audit. During the audit, a representative sample of pigs will be observed at the farm for the following criteria:

  • Space allowance
  • Body condition scores
  • Severe lameness
  • Scratches longer than 12 inches
  • Abscesses
  • Deep wounds
  • Tail biting lesions
  • Prolapses
  • Hernias (non-breeding only)
  • Shoulder sores (breeding only)
  • Vulva injuries (breeding only)

The rest of the audit focuses on the areas of:

  • Caretakers
  • Facilities
  • Records
  • Transport
  • Food safety

What documents does the audit require?

Producers will need to show the following at the time of the audit as outlined in the CSIA.


Audit process

Packers will ask for an audit to be done at a swine site. Audits will be completed either by packer auditors or third-party audit companies hired by the packer. All auditors are PAACO (Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization) trained in using the CSIA. The farm will be contacted by either the packer or third-party audit company to:

  • Schedule the audit
  • Inquire about biosecurity protocols
  • Get acquainted with the facility, number of animals and facility layout prior to visiting the site

Sarah Schiek, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2018

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