Make disease management on swine farms a priority to maintain a high level of herd health

Improper management of incoming animals can put production units at risk.

Improper management of incoming animals can put production units at risk of disease. Direct routes of contamination include live animals, as well as genetic material (i.e. semen) and are large factors when it comes to controlling the spread of disease. The production practices surrounding these factors need constant review to maintain proper procedures and effectiveness. Producers need to implement review methods for each area that is considered a direct route of contamination.

Purchasing your semen and replacement stock from verified sources that are monitored via testing protocols is necessary when protecting the health of your herd. The procured animals must be transported in a clean and disinfected vehicle and loaded and unloaded properly using clean and disinfected load areas (Tubbs, 2001).

When introducing new animals into the herd an isolation period is critical to evaluate the health status of the animals. Isolation should occur in facilities separate from the production site and located a minimum of 120 meters from the breeding herd (Dee, 2010). Animals should stay in isolation for a period of at least 30 days and assessed daily for clinical signs of disease. Management of isolation facilities should take place following completion of all duties at the breeding or parent site; employees responsible for duties in the isolation unit should shower out after checking the unit and not return to the breeding/parent herd until the following day. Replacement stock should be blood tested 24-48 hours after arrival to the isolation facility as well as 5-7 days prior to entry into the breeding unit (Dee, 2010). Implementing these isolation techniques and testing protocols will aid you in protecting your herd from the introduction of new disease agents and maintain the current health level of your herd.


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