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Effective Management Identified as Front Line Defense Against Animal Disease

by 5m Editor
26 November 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1654. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1654

An Associate Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says effective management is emerging as the front line defense for minimizing the risk of disease within the swine herd.

Despite the adoption of a range of health technologies, such as three site production systems and all in all out management systems to eliminate the risk of infection, disease control is as great a challenge today as it was 20 years ago.

Swine Production Medicine Specialist Dr. John Harding says, while these techniques are very important, disease still exists.

"The difficulty we've seen is that it hasn't eliminated disease from the population. Where we would have thought maybe 20 years ago that we could eliminate disease, I think we're just dealing with a new set of diseases today.

Some of them the old diseases that we dealt with 20 years ago, some of them new diseases that have emerged but disease control is still an issue today and will always be an issue in the swine industry.

We have to then look at good management practices as, I believe, a primary form or mode of disease control. Disease control is really a team sport.

It takes everybody from the staff and the technicians on the farm handling the animals right up through barn managers to production managers and the accountants and ultimately the CEO needs to be very involved in the process.

We can no longer rely on antimicrobials as the only form of disease control. The development of resistance is obviously a concern that's been with us for the last ten to 15 years and also we're seeing fewer and fewer antimicrobial products available to us on the market today.

That's really systemic across the whole animal livestock industry."

Dr. Harding says those good management practices will be specific to each individual barn but essentially they need to focus on the pig and how the pig is handled to minimize the risk of disease.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor