Biosecurity in Pork Production – Bio-Exclusion

GLOBAL - There are three types of biosecurity in pork production: bio-exclusion – avoiding the entry of a new pathogen; bio-management – controlling the level of pathogens already on the farm; and bio-containment – preventing the spread of pathogens to other farms. The focus of this report is bio-exclusion, writes Dr Joe Rogowsky, Director of Health and Biosecurity at Genesus.
calendar icon 15 July 2016
clock icon 4 minute read

When explaining bio-exclusion to producers, I keep it simple – bear in mind that there needs to be a real or virtual line of separation (preferably real and visible) between the outside world and the inner sanctum of the barn, the “dirty” and “clean” zones, and everything that passes through the line into the barn needs to be considered a bio-threat and managed as best you can.

Don’t forget to include your outside loadout and trailers, and decide whether the mechanical room(s) and any other non-production room(s) are clean or dirty and treat them accordingly. It’s tempting to disregard that line at times, but discipline pays off.

Incoming on a 24/7/365 basis are air and water. Managing bio-threats in incoming air has driven the development of air treatment technology, but “location, location, location” is still the ultimate solution.

While ground water is usually safe, surface water can be contaminated by birds and wildlife and the treatment of incoming surface water should not be overlooked.

Incoming on a 7/365 basis are people. Bio-threats can be carried on, and in, a person entering a barn.

Measures should be considered to minimise your exposure to new pathogens, limiting traffic from other farms onto your site, arranging for any deadstock and garbage pickup, semen and supply deliveries and contract nutrient management traffic to be well away from your barn, discussing biosecurity practices with the feed, pig and fuel truck drivers and visitors, and removing anything that attracts wildlife around the barn.

All good practices, but the critical control point is removing your outside footwear and clothes, showering in and wearing clothing dedicated to the barn in a manner that prevents backtracking.

If you have to go outside after showering in, have a clear line of separation for inside and outside footwear. Unless managed properly, footbaths to disinfect footwear between clean and dirty zones are unreliable. People that may be suffering from flu (cough and fever) should avoid entering if possible.

Incoming less often are feed, supplies, equipment and pigs. Bio-threats in feed can be managed by considering the ingredients used, heat treatment, feed mill and truck biosecurity, and downtime in the bins.

All incoming supplies should be disinfected as they pass through your line of separation. Unless you can disinfect all the surfaces, boxes should be unpacked and left outside, and bagged feed should be transferred into carts and the bags left outside. Disinfecting incoming tools is a challenge, so consider having basic tools and supplies in each barn.

Last, but not least, is the incoming genetics - semen and pigs. Consult with your vet if a change in the source of genetics is a consideration and don’t hesitate to be informed about the health status of your source(s), how that health status is being monitored and how biosecure the transport is to your farm.

Switching sources is a risk but based on our extensive, world-wide customer experience, switching to Genesus genetics or from one Genesus source to another has consistently been a success.

Genesus has intensive veterinary oversight of our nucleus and multiplication sites, all groups of selected Genesus pigs are tested for PRRSV, PEDV and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae within 10 days of shipping and all groups are transported under the highest available standards.

In our world, bio-exclusion is critical to our mutual success.

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