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Economic Cost of Major Health Challenges in Large US Swine Production Systems - Part 2

by 5m Editor
14 May 2007, at 12:00am

By Derald Holtkamp, DVM, Iowa State University; Hans Rotto, DVM, Innovative Agriculture Solutions; Roberto Garcia, DVM, Merial Ltd.

Merial

Finishing herd

In the finishing herd, swine influenza, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, and PRRSV were the top three. Swine influenza was cited as a health challenge in the finisher for 18 of 19 companies surveyed with an average rank of 3.1. Swine influenza in combination with PCV2 was cited as a health challenge for 3 herds with an average rank of 3.3. PRRSV was ranked as a health challenge for 16 of the 19 companies with an average rank of 3.1. PRRS in combination with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae was ranked as a health challenge for 11 companies with an average rank of 4.0. PRRS in combination with PCV2 was ranked for 5 companies with an average rank of 2.4.

While a relatively infrequent health challenge in the finisher at the time the survey was conducted, when PRRSV in combination with PCV2 was cited as a problem, productivity losses were ranked greater, on average, than for any other health challenge in finishing. Ileitis was ranked as a health challenge for 14 of the 19 companies surveyed with an average rank of 4.9. Ileitis in combination with Salmonella was ranked by a single company with an average rank of 3.0. PMWS was ranked by 10 companies with an average rank of 4.0.

PCV2 in combination with swine influenza was ranked for 3 companies with an average rank of 3.3. Six other health challenges were ranked for more than half of the companies surveyed. They were gastric ulcers, Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis, Streptococcus suis, hemorrhagic bowel syndrome, and Actinobacillus suis.

Discussion

The information generated by this survey is valuable for industry benchmarking and to help guide animal health related investments in the industry. However, several limitations of the approach used should be kept in mind. The quality of the results from the survey are only as good as the participant’s knowledge of productivity losses and health-related expenditures associated with specific health challenges. Sorting out the impact of individual health challenges over time, when multiple health challenges may be present, was subjective. To minimize this limitation, the design of the survey and the method of administration were formulated to facilitate a rigorous and common thought process for the participating veterinarians. They were guided through a series of questions starting with identification and subjective ranking of each health challenge and culminating in the estimation of ranges of productivity losses and health-related expenditures in affected herds. In addition, the participants were informed of the content of the survey prior to the face-to-face interview so that they were prepared. Participants were also quizzed and screened for their ability to provide good estimates for the questions in the survey.

It is also important to note that only the segment of the U.S. industry producing more than 150,000 pigs per year was included in the study population. Extrapolation of the results to the entire U.S. industry should be done with caution. Another limitation was that the selection of surveyed companies was not random. However, the companies surveyed represented nearly half of the pigs marketed in the study population and approximately one-quarter of the pigs marketed in the U.S.

It is interesting to note that PMWS and PCV2 in combination with PRRSV were both ranked among the more important health challenges. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the losses associated with PCV2 would not have ranked this high had the survey been conducted earlier. Likewise, the rankings likely have increased since the survey was conducted.

Reference

Neuman, E.J, Kliebenstein, J.B., Johnson, C.D., Mabry, J.W., Bush, E.J., Seitzinger, A.H., Green, A.L., Zimmerman, J.J. 2005. Assessment of the economic impact of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome on swine production in the United States. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 227(3):385-92.