Prevent Swine Dysentery with Better Biosecurity

30 January 2012, at 9:53am

CANADA - An associate professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is encouraging pork producers to step up their focus on biosecurity to guard against the introduction of swine dysentery, writes Bruce cochrane.

Swine dysentery is a bacterial infection that causes bloody diarrhea primarily in grower-finisher pigs.

Dr John Harding, an associate professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, explains the pathogen responsible for swine dysentery is transmitted by feces and can enter the farm through a number of vectors including shoes, live pigs that are subclinically infected or carriers, on transport vehicles, possibly on deadstock routes and he suggests if your farm has become infected it's an indication there's been a lapse in biosecurity.

Dr John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:

It's a very interesting story in that across North America, the prevalence of swine dysentery has been extremely low to non-existent since about the early 1990s. Beginning around 2002-2003 in the US they started to see an increase in swine dysentery cases. That has continued in western Canada. We saw our first case of swine dysentery in 2009 after about a 15-year absence of the disease and since 2009 then we've seen a rapid increase in the number of cases. Not to say that it is an epizootic outbreak, a severe outbreak, but just small numbers of farms but certainly an increase every year in the number of affected farms in western Canada.

Dr Harding encourages any farms that are non-infected to critically review all stages of their biosecurity programmes. He says, at this point, most affected farms do not know exactly how they became infected, which suggests that most farms in operation today are at risk.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on swine dysentery by clicking here.