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Automated Swine Transport Wash Project Moves into Phase 2

9 December 2015, at 12:00am

CANADA - The chair of environmental programs with the University of Saskatchewan reports scientists have successfully concluded phase 1 of a project to cut the cost and the time it takes to disinfect a swine transport trailer, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A multidisciplinary team, of engineers and scientists is preparing to move into phase 2 of a Swine Innovation Porc project which aims to cut the time it takes to wash and disinfect a swine transport trailer to 1 hour while reducing the cost to $250.

Dr Terry Fonstad, the chair of environmental programs with the University of Saskatchewan, says phase one findings have been very encouraging.

Dr Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:

Phase 1, we needed to, physically what did we need to do.

We needed to remove the material from the truck and then physically destroy any pathogens that might be on that vehicle.

The other side of it was, we had to come up with some way of cleaning the trucks that could be automated.

Currently they use fire hoses and pressure washers and there's no real way to contain that, there's no real way to automate that kind of a thing and so we came up with a suggestion of using a vac system, a hydrovac system that's normally used in construction to daylight lines and drill holes and we modified that and did a proof of concept testing with Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute.
That worked our really well.

Then on the other side of it we did studies with VIDO and Prairie Swine Centre and their veterinarian team to determine, of the list of viruses, bacteria and parasites, what kind of conditions would kill all of them even the ones that might be hidden behind a panel.

That's where we got to now.

It looks like, if we can heat trailers to around 70 degrees C for 10 to 15 minutes in combination with this hydrovac high pressure wash vacuum system to clean them, it seems like that's the system.
Now the big task is how do you develop a system out of those two concepts?

Dr Fonstad says in phase 2 researchers will look at the design of the trailers.

He says we need to assess the effect of heating on the trailers, we need to make sure the heating process will kill the pathogens, and, on the wash side, we need to develop tools to clean all parts of the trailers.

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