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Advice to be Aware of Signs of Brachyspira

by 5m Editor
10 May 2012, at 7:50am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board is encouraging pork producers to make themselves aware of the signs of brachyspira and what they can do to keep their operations free of the infection, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Brachyspira is the name of the family of bacteria that causes swine dysentery.

To familiarize pork producers with the signs of brachyspira the Canadian Swine Health Board has issued a Swine Health Awareness Bulletin which outlines the infection and what to look for.

Dr Al Theede, the Canadian Swine Health Board's research coordinator, says the infection isn't all that common but it is easily transmitted and can cost seven to eight dollars per finished pig in medications costs, reduced growth rates, poor feed conversions and so on.

Dr Al Theede-Canadian Swine Health Board

Producers and veterinarians etcetera are familiar I think with swine dysentery which is an old disease that's been around in the pig population globally for many many years and probably was described in some detail back in the 60s and 70s.

In recent years swine dysentery has all but disappeared and it wasn't on anyone's radar as a concern or a big issue in the past 10 or 15 years at least but recently a few more cases are starting to show up almost around the world, including here in western Canada, in the mid-west U.S. and also in Europe and other parts of the world.

We're talking just a handful of farms, eight or ten farm sites in western Canada and when I say the eight or ten farms that's over the last two or three years so it's not a huge issue but the potential is there and, as I said earlier, if you're looking at something like eight dollars added cost or poorer performance per market pig that can be a lot of money fairly quickly.

For more information on brachyspira Dr Theede recommends producers contact their local swine health veterinarian or visit the Canadian Swine Health Board web site at

Further Reading

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