Effort to Automate Swine Transport Vehicle Washing Moves to Next Phase

28 April 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA - An effort to automate the cleaning and disinfection of swine transport vehicles is about to move into the next phase, writes Bruce Cochrane.

A team of engineers and scientists, working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, is preparing to move into phase three of an initiative to adapt hydrovac technology to speed up and reduce the cost of washing and disinfecting swine transport trailers.

Dr Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, explains swine transportation has been identified as the primary risk for transferring disease causing pathogens.

Dr Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is involved in doing a trailer inventory.

They went out and looked at all the trailers that are being used and then looked into both animal welfare and cleanability aspects of those trailers.

PAMI is developing with us a cleaning system based on a concept of using vacuum and pressure washers.

VIDO is working on the side of pathogen destruction and giving us the engineering parameters that we need to destroy pathogens and verification of that.

Then, on the engineering side at the University, we're looking at measuring those parameters in the trailers to verify that we're meeting the conditions that'll destroy the pathogens.

I think this is a bit unique for research in that it's industry led, industry driven.

One thing that we did made sure that we put in is an advisory team that's everywhere from producers to veterinarians to people that actually wash the trucks and we get together every six months and have them actually guide the research.

I think that's been part of the success, is having that advisory team that's made up of that diverse group of people.

Dr Fonstad says a less labor intensive prototype hydrovac system, which requires less water that cleans the trailers to a level that facilitates effective disinfection and pathogen deactivation using heat has been developed.

He says the next step is to automate or semi-automate the system.

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