Pig & Poultry Fair: New App Helps Pig Producers Combat Pig Disease Pressure

UK - AHDB Pork has launched ‘Think BioRisk’, a new interactive app, at this year’s British Pig & Poultry Fair.
calendar icon 13 May 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

With the risk of disease a constant concern for the pig industry and evidence pointing towards more pressure, much of the responsibility of keeping it out remains in the hands of those who work on and enter units.

The app is designed to be used by anyone who steps onto a pig unit and its interactive video scenarios demonstrate best practice pig production and common mistakes.

Martin Smith, AHDB Pork’s veterinary manager, explains how important it is that anyone entering a unit understands and implements best farming practices at all times, to keep pig health up and costs down.

“All units should be working towards, or maintaining, a high herd health status because poor disease management costs money and could prove disastrous for the British pig industry in the case of a disease outbreak.

“However, when busy, we understand that it’s easy for everyone to become wrapped up in day-to-day activities and, as other priorities take hold, key risks with regard to herd health are often overlooked.”

This is where ‘Think BioRisk’ helps producers reduce risk. The interactive tool has been developed to highlight the importance of not overlooking certain factors that may impact on pig health through biosecurity breeches.

“By helping people understand the weak spots, we hope that we can promote better long-term protection of our pig health and the industry,” says Martin.

“Whenever users see an example of a health risk or bad biosecurity, they have to click the mouse. It’s a bit like the hazard perception part of a driving test. And, on completion, full feedback is provided on both good and bad practice portrayed in the videos.

"Some examples of the training modules include: visitors, vehicles, movements of people and livestock, pest control, medicine management and deadstock collection.

“Everyone wants healthy high performing livestock. Regardless of your farm set-up, there will be small changes that can be made to significantly reduce the risk of introducing or spreading pig diseases,” Martin concludes.

‘Think BioRisk’ can be downloaded from: thinkbiorisk.pork.ahdb.org.uk

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