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Pig Journal Volume: 58
Publication date: December 2006

Refereed Section

THE EFFECT OF A CENTRAL NERVOUS STIMULANT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF OEDEMA DISEASE IN PIGS AFTER CHALLENGE WITH
P.G.Y. Friendship and G. Bilkei

Abstract
The objective of the trial was to determine the effect of a central nervous stimulant on the development of oedema disease in weaned pigs after challenge with Escherichia coli verotoxin 2-e (VT2-e).

In a large pig production unit, two litters of weaned pigs (n=19 piglets) were selected for the study and treated as follows:

Group one (n=10): 25 µg of VTe-2 toxin were given intravenously. After the first signs of palpebral oedema (4 hours after the application of Vte-2 toxin) the weaners were treated with amphetamine hydrochloride (1mg/kg body weight) via stomach tube.

Group two (n=9): 25 µg of Vte-2 toxin were given intravenously. The animals received no treatment.

Clinical signs typical for oedema disease, mortality and gross pathological changes were evaluated. All piglets were euthanased on day 4 post-inoculation

Less diarrhoea, laboured breathing, dyspnoea, ataxia and inco-ordination were diagnosed in (P<.05) amphetamine treated pigs, compared to the untreated control. Spasm (P=.169) and mental confusion were not different between the groups. All pigs died within 4 days in the control group, but none of them died in the treated group.

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THE EFFECT OF GONADOTROPIN AT WEANING ON THE REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF SOWS IN AN EAST-EUROPEAN SUMMER CLIMATE IN LARGE INDOOR BREEDING UNITS
P. Almond and G. Bilkei

Abstract
The study was performed in order to determine the effect of gonadotropin (Gn) application at weaning on the subsequent fertility of sows. At weaning, sows did (Group 1: n=2150), or did not (Group 2: n=2202) receive an injection of 400 IU PMSG plus 200 IU hCG. Sows were bred at their first post-weaning oestrus.

Weaning to service intervals, regular and irregular returns to service, farrowing rates and subsequent litter sizes were evaluated.

Control sows had longer (P<0.001) weaning to service intervals, and more (P<0.001) regular returns to service compared with the Gn-treated sows. Irregular returns to service showed no significant differences between the treated and untreated sows. Farrowing rates and litter sizes were significantly (P<0.001) higher in the Gn-treated compared with the untreated sows.

Implications: Administering Gn is an effective tool for helping breeding targets.

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Proceedings Section

RESEARCH NEEDS AND DELIVERY
M. Wilson

Abstract
The British Pig Executive (BPEX) Road to Recovery strategy 2006-2009 has been developed following extensive consultation with the UK pig industry, the relevant research communities in the UK and abroad, public funders of research in the UK and after an examination of best practice in other countries (especially Canada and Denmark). This paper outlines the objectives and possible advantages of such a project.

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PIG HERD HEALTH PLANS - AN ACTIVE TOOL TO MONITOR AND MANAGE UK PIG HERD HEALTH
J. Robertson

Abstract
Animal health plans are a positive tool for active health and production management. The current proposal for a new pig herd health plan intends to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of previous livestock herd health plans. The outline below is for a pilot information system, accessed via the internet, that will provide the industry with a series of templates and documents that can be built up to form individual farm or unit pig herd health plans (PHHPs). The PHHPs will remain the confidential plans of individual veterinary practices and producers, with security protection to current IT standards.

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SEASONAL INFERTILITY IN THE DOMESTIC PIG - MYTH OR MENACE?
J. Wiseman, T. Lewis and J. Woolliams

Abstract
Wild boar are seasonal breeders and certain species of domestic pigs also retain some seasonal traits. While conducive to offspring survival in the wild, it could be a bar to herd productivity in the farm situation. This paper reviews the many factors concerning oestrus , onset of puberty, conception and litter size, with particular reference to the effects of environment, management, nutrition, mating and time of year. Overall, the authors have conducted an in-depth study into the popularly held belief that season may influence fertility of domestic pigs.

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THE DEVELOPMENT OF A FARM LEVEL DECISION SUPPORT MODEL CAPABLE OF DEMONSTRATING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF CONTROLLING MYCOPLASMA HYPNEUMONIAE IN FINISHING PIGS
I. McClement and R. Bennett

Abstract
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is a significant economic problem for the UK pig industry and its costs are difficult to estimate. This research was to develop an interactive farm-level Decision Support System simulation model to demonstrate the estimated economic impact of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and the costs and benefits associated with farm disease control measures. To quantify its impacts, the model uses the farm's own abattoir report data based on carcass examinations at slaughter provided by membership of the British Pig Executive (BPEX) Pig Health Scheme. This enables loss related to decrease in live-weight gain and depression in feed conversion efficiency to be calculated.

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SETTING A NEW STANDARD FOR THE UK BREEDING HERD
A. Cliff

Abstract
The British pig industry has clearly identified the need to improve reproductive performance as a key objective. The British Pig Executive (BPEX) is providing support to the industry's efforts to improve reproductive performance in pig herds in four key areas: Promoting best practice on-farm; Development of an auditable quality standard for AI; Establishment of a reference laboratory for semen analysis; Promoting and using farm recording as an essential management tool. The UK breeding herd performance is significantly poorer than its close European neighbours, resulting in a higher, less competitive cost of production. The poor UK performance results from small litter sizes and reduced farrowing rates, producing fewer litters per sow per year than its competitors. Reproductive failure and poor fertility are in most cases not the result of a single cause but a complex combination of several, making diagnosis difficult. Producers and advisors frequently under-estimate the cost of reproductive failure as well as the seasonal and environmental effects, when in fact it could be costing producers in the region of £70 per sow per year. The challenge set by BPEX for 2006 is to increase the UK born alive litter size by at least one pig per litter, and the number sold per sow per year by at least two pigs.

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STATE OF THE ART IN CONVENTIONAL ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION ON DANISH FARMS
A.M. Hedeboe

Abstract
Good artificial insemination (A.I.) results are based on three circumstances, namely, heat detection, correct use of the boar and insemination strategies. It is also important to be able to recognize each sow's needs. Herds, already achieving high production figures, can also get the same results with less effort by reducing the number of services per sow per heat. It is probable too that the number of sperm cells in a dose can also be reduced.

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THE OCCURRENCE AND IMPACT UPON REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE OF HEALTH EVENTS AND PROLONGED ACCLIMATISATION - A LONGITUDINAL STUDY AT STOTFOLD PIG DEVELOPMENT UNIT
C. Papadopoulou, A.J.C. Cook, J. Iversen, L. Snow, M. Bushnell and A.R. Rycroft

Abstract
A three-year longitudinal study was conducted in the pig breeding herd at the Meat & Livestock Commission Pig Development Unit at Stotfold. Data from the breeding herd records and results from serological and bacteriological investigations were analysed to investigate the effect of prolonged acclimatisation and pig health upon parameters of reproductive performance. The analysis revealed limited evidence of an association between duration of acclimatisation and reproductive performance, with gilts that were heavier at entry rearing fewer piglets and having longer weaning-service intervals. This was considered to be of lesser importance than other recognised factors affecting reproduction.

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PORCINES, ABORTION AND ARCOBACTERS - A SUMMARY
C. Gaudie, P. Wragg, S.H. Done and M. Toszeghy

Abstract
Arcobacters are now recognised as a separate group of bacteria from Campylobacter. Currently, their importance lies in their causing food poisoning in human beings. Three species have been found in the digestive tract of most pigs and are often excreted in the faeces. Contamination of meat products may follow. Disease in the pig, as such, is not normally associated with these organisms. However, they do occasionally appear in the porcine reproductive tract and in some aborted foetuses. There is at least a possibility therefore that they may be involved in foetopathy and in reproductive disease in sows.

This paper outlines the results of a short study carried out at Thirsk Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Its intent was to try to ascertain the importance of the organism. Although it concluded that Arcobacters did not appear to be major pathogens, they should certainly be kept under surveillance.

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LEPTOSPIRA SEROVARS IN UK PIGS PROJECT OD014 ACTIVITIES AT VLA REGIONAL LABORATORIES
S.M. Williamson and C. Gaudie

Abstract
This paper records the serological findings on current leptospira serovars in UK pig herds resulting from a DEFRA-funded project, 'Leptospira Serovars in Pigs in England and Wales: definition and detection of infecting agents,' the aims of which have been described previously (Williamson et al, 2004). The role of the Regional Laboratories (RL) in the project was to identify pig herds with evidence of exposure to leptospires and to collect kidneys for leptospire culture and PCR development. The opportunity was taken to relate the results of leptospiral serology to background epidemiological details of sampled herds.

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DIAGNOSIS OF VIRAL RESPIRATORY PATHOGENS
J. Carr

Abstract
Before any viral respiratory disease can be treated, or effectively controlled, the clinician needs to reach an accurate diagnosis. To this end, the problem should be looked at in five main areas - the individual pig, the group of pigs, the total herd situation, the herd history (records) and, finally, the pig buildings. This paper seeks to examine all these parameters. However, it is also concluded that, in acute outbreaks of such diseases, diagnosis can often be difficult.

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CONTROL AND TREATMENT OF VIRAL RESPIRATORY PATHOGENS
J. Carr, C. Brennan, K. Nairn and S. Adsett

Abstract
Over the years, viral respiratory pathogens have presented the pig veterinarian with some unique challenges and opportunities to practise the art of veterinary science. Many of the pathogens can be controlled by farming programmes that should be adopted on any pig farm as standard practice - (examples -Adenovirus, PCMV, PCVII). Others provide temporary problems - (example-SIV) - that, if properly approached, can resolve within a matter of weeks. Others, unfortunately, are more insidious, requiring enhanced management programmes to stabilise the farm and restore an economically acceptable output - (examples - PRRSv and PMWS) and, in the long term, the economic damage may be such that these pathogens may require elimination. Other viral respiratory pathogens' effects are so damaging to the welfare of the pig (examples ASF and CSF) or economically damaging to the farm (AD) that elimination, often by government intervention, is required.

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LUNGWORM IN WILD BOAR
R.B. Pearson

Abstract
This case report describes an outbreak of lungworm infection (metastrongylosis) in a small commercial herd of wild boar in the South West of England. Affected boar were primarily 4-6 months old and symptoms noted included poor growth, coughing and sudden death. A rapid response to anthelmintic treatment was seen. The life cycle of the pig lungworm (Metastronglus apri, M. salmi and M. pudendotectus) involves an intermediate host: the earthworm and these were thought to be numerous in the wet woodland on this farm.

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VIRAL PNEUMONIA IN PIGS IN ENGLAND AND WALES 1999 - 2005
G.Jackson, C.A. Bidewell, N.G.A. Woodger, S.M. Williamson, R.J. Higgins, J.-P. Frossard, I.H. Brown, J.B.M. Ryan, S. Robertson, B. Naidu, M. Banks, T.W. Drew and A.J.C. Cook.

Abstract
An overview of pig disease trends illustrates the pattern and relative importance of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2)-associated disease, principally post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), since its first recognition in England and Wales (E & W) in 1999. A study during 2005 into raised-mortality in growing and finishing pigs highlighted the major involvement of PCV2-associated diseases including pneumonia. The study's findings also supported the view that classic PMWS has evolved since 1999, and increasingly occurs as more variable syndromes, including other PCV2-associated diseases. These diseases also more commonly affect older, often in fair to good condition, pigs. Disease trends of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and influenza A virus (IAV) diseases probably under-estimate their contribution to national pig disease. The raised mortality study, however, highlighted their relative importance in viral pneumonias in the 10 to 20-week age group. Monitoring of viral strains demonstrated increasing diversity of PRRSV isolates, but relative stability of IAV isolates, from pig disease incidents in E & W during the 1990s to the end of 2005.

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EFFECTIVENESS AND PROFITABILITY OF DIFFERENT SALMONELLA CONTROL PROGRAMMES IN A LARGE FIELD TRIAL
M. van der Heijden, W. Ederveen, D. Niewerth and K. Frankena

Abstract
Contamination of meat and meat products with Salmonella spp. is of growing concern in the modern pig industry, affecting public health (Berends et al, 1998; Leclerc et al, 2002; Gomez et al, 1997), animal health and welfare (Gray and Fedorka-Cray, 2002; van der Wolf et al, 2001a) and international trade in animals and products of animal origin. Thus control strategies to minimize the risk of salmonella infection in both pigs and humans are needed. This paper describes an investigation into the effect of acidified drinking water, acidified feed and an improved hygienic management on the level of salmonella antibodies in finishing pigs.

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INVESTIGATING SALMONELLA INFECTION ON PROBLEM PIG FARMS (ZAP LEVEL 3) - CASE STUDIES IN ENGLAND
A.J.C. Cook, A.J. Miller, S.M. Williamson, J. Hayden, C.A. Featherstone, J. O'Connor, D.F. Twomey, E.A. Marier and R.H. Davies

Abstract
This paper reviews findings from visits to pig farms in Zoonoses Action Plan (ZAP) Level 3 and describes the results of two interventions. ZAP 3 farms were predominantly infected with Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and S. Derby, similar findings to surveys and routine surveillance. Common problems included poor cleaning and disinfection, poor biosecurity and health problems including Post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). A trial of in-feed organic acid supplementation in an outdoor weaner producer failed to demonstrate any benefits, but this may have been due to a high incidence of PMWS. An intervention which included use of an oral inactivated S. Typhimurium vaccine and enhanced hygiene and biosecurity was associated with an important reduction in prevalence. However, since no control group was present, it was not possible to estimate the contribution of the vaccine to the outcome. Customised action plans can reduce the prevalence of salmonella infection on ZAP3 farms, but attention to detail is essential.

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BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS IN PIGS IN CORNWALL AND THE WEST OF ENGLAND
A.M. Barlow and R.J. Monies

Abstract
The pattern of mycobacterial infection in both wild and domestic pigs over the last 50 years is described. Infection with M. avium usually occurs through environmental contamination by affected birds. M. bovis infection, on the other hand, can result from pigs scavenging dead carcases, e.g. infected badgers, or from contamination of feed or water by such animals. Direct infection through ingestion of tuberculous milk, or milk products, is also possible. Three cases are described by the authors. No clinical disease was reported, each case being initially picked up at slaughter. Cattle on two of the premises tested clear to disease. On the third farm, cattle were already under restriction, with six reactors and one inconclusive reactor being disclosed at test. With bovine tuberculosis continuing to spread nationally, the authors suggest that interaction between pigs and badgers could pose a real risk to the increasing numbers of outdoor reared pigs.

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SWINE DYSENTERY AND ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE
R. Reichel, C. Gaudie, C. Teale and S.H. Done.

Abstract
Limitations on the ability to effectively control recurring Swine Dysentery problems in a particular herd are discussed in detail. These hinge on the now non-availibility of certain drugs, previously used successfully, i.e. carbadox, dimetridazole and sodium arsanilate, and the apparent reduced susceptibility of the organism to those still permitted - viz: tylosin and lincomycin. The complete history of the herd under investigation is set out, which apparently confirm these findings. Other farms, with similar disease patterns, are also facing the same problems. Units, without suitable all-in/all-out facilities and no opportunities for complete and effective programmes, are likely to experience ongoing Swine Dysentery problems way into the future

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Case Studies

THE EFFECT OF DIETARY DOXYCYCLINE ON PORCINE PROLIFERATIVE ENTEROPATHY (PPE) CAUSED GROSS AND HISTOLOGICAL CHANGES IN A LARGE COMMERCIAL GROWING-FINISHING UNIT
S.K. Wanyoike and G. Bilkei

Abstract
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of doxycycline feed medication at the beginning of the growing-finishing phase on porcine proliferative enteropathy (PPE)-caused mortality, faecal consistency at necropsy and gross and histological changes in a large commercial growing-finishing unit. The study consisted of two treatment groups in 14 replicates (group 1: n=7121 pigs, in-feed medicated with 200 ppm. doxycycline during 4 weeks post- entry; group 2: n=7899 pigs, non-medicated).

Pigs medicated with doxycycline had less (P<0.05) mortality, lower (P< 0.01) mean faecal consistency scores, fewer (P<0.05) PPE-associated gross and histological lesions, less PCR-positive ileal tissue (P<0.05) compared with non-medicated pigs.

Implications: This study provides evidence that doxycycline administered to Lawsonia intracellularis-infected growing-finishing pigs is effective in reducing PPE caused pathological changes.

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