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Pig Production Systems, Biosecurity Practices and Herd Health in the Philippines

21 May 2014

Differences were found by researchers in terms of management and biosecurity practices between smallholders and the commercial pig sector in the Philippines. Agricultural supply stores provided herd health services to the majority of farmers.

A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2011 and March 2012 by first-named author, J.I. Alawneha of the University of Queensland in Australia and co-authors and published in the journal, Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

The study was carried out in in two major pig-producing provinces in the Philippines. A total of 471 pig farms slaughtering finisher pigs at government operated abattoirs participated in this study.

The objectives of this study were:

  • to group smallholder (S) and commercial (C) production systems into patterns according to their herd health providers (HHPs), and obtain descriptive information about the grouped S and C production systems; and
  • identify key HHPs within each production system using social network analysis.

On-farm veterinarians, private consultants, pharmaceutical company representatives, government veterinarians, livestock and agricultural technicians and agricultural supply stores were found to be actively interacting with pig farmers.

Four clusters were identified based on production system and their choice of HHPs.

Differences in management and biosecurity practices were found between S and C clusters.

Private HHPs provided a service to larger C and some larger S farms, and have little or no interaction with the other HHPs. Government HHPs provided herd health service mainly to S farms and small C farms.

Agricultural supply stores were identified as a dominant solitary HHP and provided herd health services to the majority of farmers.

Following their study, Alawneha and co-authors suggest that increased knowledge of the routine management and biosecurity practices of S and C farmers and the key HHPs that are likely to be associated with those practices would be of value as the basis of a risk-based approach to disease surveillance and control.


Alawneha J.I., T.S. Barnes, C. Parke, E. Lapuzc, E. David, V. Basinang, A. Baluyut, E. Villar, E.L. Lopezg and P.J. Blackall. 2014. Description of the pig production systems, biosecurity practices and herd health providers in two provinces with high swine density in the Philippines. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 114:73-87.

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

May 2014

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