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Perspective on PED, Transportation of Live Animals

01 August 2013

US - The cause of the recent rapid spread of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus (PEDV) across the United States has not yet been identified with certainty but veterinarians and officials are investigating transportation as a major factor.

There hasn't been a better time than now to take a look at the data in PADRAP to get a feel for what producers with 2.13 million sows (approximately 36.8 per cent of the US national inventory) have been doing to try to keep transmission of diseases to a minimum. We decided to focus on the breeding herd since PEDV most severely affects young pigs with mortality often ranging from 30 to 100 per cent in suckling and early weaned pigs in naive herds.

This summary used PRRS Risk Assessments for the Breeding Herd completed between June 2005 and November 2012 and encompasses 940 sites in the United States. To be included in this analysis only the most current and actual assessments that were 100 per cent complete were examined.

In the External Risks section of the assessment there are 3 sections of questions that address the transportation of live animals:

  1. Vehicles used to transport animals to market or collection points (for farrow to finish sites this means to market, for other sites it means culls)
  2. Vehicles used to transport non-genetic animals to and from other sites within the production system (weaned pigs)
  3. Vehicles used to transport genetic animals

The following four questions that appear in each section are the focus here:

  1. Washing frequency of vehicles used to transport animals
  2. Pre-rinse with water to flush away loose organic material prior to wash of vehicles used to transport animals
  3. Disinfectant use on vehicles used to transport animals
  4. Drying time following wash of vehicles used to transport animals

According to responses for the four questions about transporting pigs in the breeding herd, there are things we're doing right and there is also room for improvement. With the continuing spread of PEDV and announcement on June 25th from the Mexican government's national Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA) regarding the restriction of imports of live swine from the United States this is the perfect time for producers to re-evaluate biosecurity protocols for vehicles and people transporting pigs.

The majority of responses indicate that trailers are getting washed between every load but a substantial number do not.

Even though most producers are pre-rinsing with fresh water, some are still pre-rinsing with recycled water.

Over 62 per cent of all 3 types of transportation categories (market hogs if farrow to finish or culls if not farrow to finish, weaned pigs and genetic animals) report use of Iodine or Quaternary Compounds for disinfection of vehicles. As much as 12 per cent of the responses (market hogs if farrow to finish or culls if not farrow to finish) indicate no disinfectant is used or they don't know if disinfectant is utilized.

And finally, drying or heating trailers after disinfecting also helps stop transmission of PEDV, and a bulk of survey respondents report they incorporate drying in their trailer sanitation routine.

Source: PADRAP Special Edition Newsletter

ThePigSite News Desk

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