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Pig Farmers Treated to Enlightening Seminar

by 5m Editor
6 December 2010, at 10:25am

BARBADOS - Under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Society, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the Barbados Pig Farmers Co-op and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries, Industry and Small Business Development, pig farmers across the island were given sound advice during the specially held seminar on Saturday, 4 December, at the Grand Barbados Beach Resort, ahead of the popular Agrofest early next year.

Attendees were treated to a presentation by Veterinary Officer, Dr Rosina Maitland, who informed the farmers on the intricacies of swine health, while Dr Cedric Lazarus of the Food and Agriculture Organisation gave an address on the ‘Good Practices for Bio-Security in the Pig Sector’.

As Dr Maitland discussed topics such as adequate and proper nutrition, housing, injury reduction, herd management and medication procedures for sows, piglets and gilts, she gave several examples of the incidences that she has seen in her profession.

The veterinarian expressed concern about the high levels of crushing within the pig pens with respect to the piglets. “This still remains a problem for producers as not enough persons are choosing to use the more apt, farrowing crates. It is apparent that little work has been done on the effect of housing on piglet survival,“ she stated.

Another concern she pointed out, is the high levels of oxycotton some persons are giving their pregnant pigs with devastating results such as the loss of uteruses.

According to The Barbados Advocate, she warned that the act of raising piglets is a “hard job“ and only those who can handle it should do so.

“This is a hard and expensive job. You even have to be mindful of things like flooring where if it is too rough the pigs’ hooves will be damaged and can cause lameness and if it is too smooth, they can slip and break bones,“ she explained.

Dr Lazarus spoke about the need for the segregation of pigs from other pigs and animals, the inspection of all persons and vehicles entering the farm’s premises and disinfection practices.

“There is nothing wrong with asking persons who are coming onto your farm where they are coming from because they could be bringing a disease such as hog cholera and swine fever … which Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba have been trying to get rid of for ten years now,“ he stated.

Dr Lazarus also noted that measures such as the use of a power-hose to wash vehicle tyres, disposable plastic boots for shoes, giving vaccinations and keeping the farm clean will prevent most contami-nation and infection.

The final presentation featured the pair Neil Yarde and Gregory Weir who spoke on the need for proper housing for pigs.

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