Pork producers need constant evaluation of biosecurity protocols

Assessment of indirect routes of contamination is a priority for all pork production units.

One area that pork producers need to evaluate when looking at biosecurity protocols at their facility is to look at the indirect routes of contamination. Indirect routes of contamination are methods of transmitting disease mechanically through people, vehicles, facilities and non-human vectors such as, needles and supplies. Controlling all aspects of indirect contamination on farms is one of the biggest challenges in pork production. Not only must you identify and utilize biosecurity protocols that work for your facility, you must train employees and service people to strictly follow the guidelines that you have set in place. Consistent evaluation and audits of these guidelines are required to keep your facility and employees functioning at a higher level of biosecurity awareness.

In order to maintain a high level of biosecurity at your facility you should apply an all in/all out (AI/AO) management system to your pig flow, reducing the flow of disease from older pigs to younger more naïve animals. All in/all out standard operating procedures allow you to group pigs according to age and empty or fill entire rooms at once. When working with piglets, if your site is involved in a disease outbreak it is important to move as few piglets between litters as possible, reducing cross-fostering of litters and decreasing the spread of disease.

In order to maximize the benefits of Al/AO protocols it is extremely important to wash, disinfect and dry your facility between groups of pigs. When auditing your sanitation procedures on the farm you should prioritize the following protocols with employees: Completely remove all organic material from area and power-wash all surfaces, extra attention should be given areas that are hard to reach and may harbor organic matter. Once the area is surface clean, a disinfectant should be applied to the area. Commercial disinfectants need to be researched so that the product is effective on diseases specific to your facility. The application of disinfectants via a foamer allows for better visualization of where product has been applied and also prolongs the contact between the chemical and surface areas (Dee, 2010). Once the washing and disinfection procedures have taken place, it is important to allow the area sufficient time to dry. This single step is critical when controlling disease, as inactivation of a virus is directly related to length of drying time.

Reviewing these potential sources of indirect contamination on your farm will help strengthen your biosecurity and herd health protocols. All livestock units should work to assess their protocols and practices on a yearly basis and after every major disease outbreak. Proper training of employees to ensure that the good production practices are completed correctly is also a priority for all operations.


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