Scientists Research Automated Disinfection of Livestock Trailers

CANADA - Scientists are looking into ways of speeding up disinfection of livestock trailers and reducing costs by automating the process, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 26 March 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

To reduce the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED), Sask Pork, the University of Saskatchewan, and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, are exploring the potential of automated washing and disinfecting of livestock trucks and trailers.

Dr Terry Fonstad, an Associate Professor of Civil and Geological Engineering with the University of Saskatchewan, says one group is focusing on methods for removing organic matter from the truck and another group is examining methods for killing any remaining pathogens once the truck has been washed.

Dr Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:

At this point we're just at the very beginning.

The Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, one of the collaborators with us is setting up the test stand and completing proof of concept trials with one method that we think has promise to be automated to clean the inside of the trucks, and then internally here with the University and the Prairie Swine Centre and VIDO, between VIDO and the Prairie Swine Centre we've got some veterinarian collaborators working on this physical destruction of pathogens and getting the engineers the information they need to design a system to physically destroy the pathogens once the truck is clean.

The two projects going on now, the proof of concept and the pathogen destruction lit review, we need to have done by early May this year which will allow us to put the second phase of the proposal together on initial automation and testing of a system in the next year.

Dr Fonstad said that once strategies have been developed for removing organic matter and for killing the pathogens, the plan would be to move forward with developing an automated system.

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