Swine Health Board Issues Health Awareness Bulletin

by 5m Editor
8 May 2012, at 7:20am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board has issued a Swine Health Awareness Bulletin aimed at familiarizing pork producers with the symptoms of brachyspira, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Brachyspira is a family of bacteria that causes swine dysentery.

In recent years swine dysentery had all but disappeared but a few cases have started to show up around the world.

Dr Al Theede, the Canadian Swine Health Board's research coordinator, explains the one page swine health bulletin, English on one side and French on the other, is intended to make producers aware of what to look for.

Dr Al Theede-Canadian Swine Health Board

Being something that we really aren't too familiar with we thought it would be valuable to get this awareness bulletin out to producers, veterinarians and to the industry really just to make them aware of it because it is an important disease in that it's easy to transmit.

Its really transmitted by contaminated manure and transmits place to place or animal to animal through manure and feces.

It can cause a fair bit of economic loss.

Some of the old estimates talk about seven or eight dollars per finished pig in medication costs, slower growth rate, poor feed conversion and so on and so it can be a significant disease.

It isn't very common but we want people to be aware of it so that if they see something untoward which is going to be diarrhea in grow and finishing pigs.

We're talking about pigs that are probably more than 10 or 12 weeks old in the grow finish area, they have diarrhea that you really can't explain, there may or may not be some blood, sort of bright red blood in that diarrhea and often there's a lot of mucus, sort of slimy stuff associated with it so, when you see something like that, it's just to make people aware of it and they should talk to their veterinarians and get it dealt with as quickly as possible.

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