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Improved Breeding Herd Health with Circovac

by 5m Editor
15 December 2008, at 6:43am

EU - Latest findings from Merial demonstrate improved reproductive performance in sows vaccinated with Circovac PCV2 vaccine.

Pig producers are seeing improved farrowing rates, shorter return to oestrus and up to an extra 0.4 pigs weaned per sow per litter on farms across Europe.

The good news is that new data currently being collected on farms across the UK show British producers are benefiting too. Ricardo Neto, Merial Technical Services Manager, commented: “It is very exciting to see these extra benefits of sow vaccination. While we have all seen reduced mortality and improved growth rates in growing pigs right through to slaughter as expected, the fact that we are also seeing these large improvements in breeding herd performance underlines the advantages of sow vaccination.” Data collection from UK units is ongoing but early findings are consistent with recently published data from Germany, France and Denmark.

A recent study in Denmark including 15,000 sows saw an extra 0.3 piglets live born per litter, this and the improved pre – weaning mortality, decreased number of still births and decreased interval from weaning to service resulted in an extra 1.3 piglets weaned per sow per year following vaccination with Circovac. In UK money this has been calculated to be worth an extra £120 per sow per year based on current BPEX costings.

In Germany, data gathered from 277 farms have shown a reduction in return to oestrus from 14.4 per cent to 11.5 per cent following vaccination, and a reduction in abortions from 1.95 per cent to 1.38 per cent. Live born per litter increased from 10.9 to 11.4 pigs, resulting in an increase in weaned pigs per litter from 9.4 to 9.9 - worth around £90 per sow per year.

A further study in a Danish 350-sow herd focused on the number of stillborn before and after Circovac vaccination. The number of stillborn piglets significantly decreased from1.86 per litter to 1.22, as did the number of sows with more than five stillborn piglets, which dropped from 81 to 30.

Following the introduction of Circovac a shorter return to oestrus was demonstrated in three PMWS affected herds in North Jutland, Denmark. Performance figures were analysed as average monthly results before and after vaccination. In all three herds return to oestrus rates improved to become better than the national average. Reduced mortality in the suckling stage and a reduction in antibiotic treatments were also observed.

The latest findings demonstrate Circovac is of clear benefit to the pig producer, not only by decreasing mortality, increasing uniformity and growth performances of pigs from vaccinated sows, but also by improving reproductive performance of the breeding herd. It highlights the role played by PCV2 in reproduction failures, which has possibly been underestimated in the past.