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Swine Herd Health Status Key to Economic Viability

by 5m Editor
8 September 2011, at 11:00am

CANADA - The chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board says the health status of the herd can often make the difference between whether or not a pork production operation remains economically viable, according to Bruce Cochrane.

The National Swine Biosecurity Training programme, launched earlier this year in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec and being rolled out later this year in the rest of Canada, is based on the national farm level biosecurity standard developed by the Canadian Swine Health Board.

Canadian Swine Health Board chair Florian Possberg is confident the training will be a useful tool for producers to protect their own herds from diseases and, if the programme can be delivered broadly across the country, it will increase our ability to protect the whole nation against disease.

Florian Possberg-Canadian Swine Health Board

I think, for producers, we can see anywhere from a five to ten dollar per animal advantage by having very good or very stable health so, for somebody that's in the business and producing five thousand hogs for example, that's a 25 to 50 thousand dollar advantage per year.

That's often the difference of whether you're viable or you're not viable so anything that we can do to enhance the producer's ability to maintain a good health status really helps their viability.

As well, by rolling this out in a regional and national way, if your neighbor doesn't have disease and he's protecting his herd it provides an opportunity that I'm less at risk.

Even if I'm a good operator with high health if my neighbor is taking care of his health our whole community becomes less susceptible to disease.

So doing this as an industry really has some plusses.

Mr Possberg notes healthy animals are more comfortable and easier to work with and he believes improved biosecurity provides an opportunity to improve the viability of the industry across the country.

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