Hazards and measures

swine o'clock Sep 22, 2022

When it comes to the swine industry today, we have practices and technologies to help keep disease off the sow farm that producers couldn’t even dream of 20 years ago. Still, the annual incidence of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) hasn’t really gone down. So what’s up with that?

  • According to Dr. Derald Holtkamp, professor at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, we’re amassing hazards faster than we’re increasing biosecurity measures against them. 
  • Consolidation, emerging pathogens, disease elimination methods, total confinement, geographic segregation of production, contracting, specialization, economies of scale, and export markets/globalization: all of these are factors that require strict measures, but in turn make them difficult to manage at the same time.

The main point is that new practices such as more effective use of gates, remodeling of barns, and staged loading are all around us and they prove to be effective enough, but setting up the infrastructure and training workers for unconventional methods are a challenge. We must press on, nevertheless, since we need measures more than ever with ASF closing in on US borders.