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Each unit within the UK will have four veterinary visits each year as required by the industry assurance schemes. Ensure that time is allocated during these visits to discuss herd health, bio-security, replacement policy, vaccination programme, etc. Health is critical to the success of any pig unit, whether it is breeding or finishing. And, as the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure.

When considering reproduction problems there are many factors to bear in mind, but the following are the likely areas that the unit veterinarian will cover:

    1. Health (presence of infectious disease) should not be thought to be the immediate cause of poor reproductive performance. Detailed examination of the system and operation of the A) process should be conducted to identify any possible problem areas. Only when all management factors have been eliminated as possible causes of the problem, should health be investigated.

    2. Health "status" and unit health history should be considered. Generally, units with lower levels of disease challenge have a better reproductive record.

      Specific infections that can cause reproductive problems are:

      • Viral infections
          Porcine Parvovirus
          PRRS (Blue ear)
          Swine influenza
      • Bacterial infections
          Leptospirosis
      • Infections that cause fever

    3. Vaccination and Parasite control polices and their current effectiveness.


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