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Author Archive: Susan Spiegel

Product claims = more sales

Production claims on meat and poultry product labels are generating more sales volume and more dollars, according to a Nielsen survey.

Protein by any other name

Meat and poultry have dominated the American diet over the years. But the movement toward protein alternatives, particularly plant-based products, is growing.

Make way for meal kits

A Nielsen survey  reports that 25% of US shoppers purchased meal kits in 2016.

The Amazon factor

Now that Amazon owns Whole Foods Market, not only will e-commerce grocery shopping proliferate, but the food complex as a whole will change.

E-commerce is changing behaviors

E-commerce is a significant part of consumers’ shopping behaviors today, and with 83% of Americans carrying smartphones, it will only grow.

What makes a millennial?

As the largest generational class in the US today, the millennials are in the driver’s seat in terms of dictating products, services, trends and outcomes. It is worth noting that a consistent age...

Early weaning permanently compromises gut immune response

Researchers at Michigan State University investigated how early weaning ages affect development of a piglet’s gut and its ability to launch an immune response against pathogens.

Large-scale trials make case for longer sow lactations

The Pipestone System in Minnesota recently conducted at their research facilities two large-scale trials to study the effects of lactation length on sows and growing-pig performance.

Colostrum intake at birth sets up pig for life

How much colostrum a piglet consumes on day 1 impacts the pig’s performance for the rest of its life, according to a North Carolina State University study.

Future vaccines rely on other pathways for delivery

What developing technologies and products will make vaccine administration and compliance easier in the future?

Pig vaccination 101

Employees can make a big difference in herd health by properly administering vaccines. But employees don’t always know the correct protocols and why vaccinations are so important.

Production specialists urged to share insights on no-antibiotics programs, animal welfare

Antibiotics are important for maintaining animal health, but their use has come under scrutiny in recent years due to the rise of antibiotic resistance globally.

Antibiotic-free production: What lessons can pork learn from poultry?

A rapid increase in the use of vaccines for respiratory and enteric diseases in swine over the past year will ultimately allow a reduction in antibiotic use, predicted Joe Connor, DVM, swine...

How long do mycoplasma-negative herds stay negative?

Most hog farms successfully stamp out mycoplasma pneumonia when they work with their veterinarian to eliminate the disease. The challenge is preventing reinfection. 

USDA seeks comments on plans to modernize swine inspection

Spokespersons for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) made the rounds at the 2018 International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta to drum up support for proposed rules to...

Healthy, stress-free GI tract is key to pigs’ long-term health

A healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract is inextricably linked to the nervous system and is generally a strong predictor of a pig’s overall health, said a research veterinarian who specializes in...

High-risk viruses survive in feed, threaten US pork

An investigation initiated by the Pipestone System and Scott Dee, DVM, continues to uncover more information about the link between feed ingredients and foreign pathogen movement.

Steps to keep the incidence of stillborns at bay

by Megan Schnur, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd. Carthage, Illinois

Minimise weaning stress to maximise piglet performance

Minimising the amount of stress piglets go through can help limit health issues and growth checks associated with weaning, according to a pig health specialist.

New forms of swine influenza pose tough but manageable challenges

New strains of the swine influenza virus continue to emerge, making it difficult for pork producers to manage, two experts who specialize in the disease of food animals said at a recent webinar...

Pig care, disease prevention are top goals for this vet

In a video produced as part of the Vets on Call series, Dr. Paul Ruen explains that pigs are social creatures who like to be in groups.

Prevention the key to swine flu protection

Swine influenza cannot be treated once it is in a herd, so finding ways to prevent it from infecting animals is key to keeping pigs healthy this winter.

Europe bans zinc oxide in pig feed

Europe’s farmers have been given five years to phase out the use of zinc oxide in pig feed.

Pig feed reminder over African Swine Fever concerns

UK pig keepers are being reminded to avoid feeding animals food waste and check their biosecurity measures to help prevent outbreaks of diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF).

Learn from poultry farmers to cut antibiotic use, pig producers told

The UK pig sector should look to poultry farmers to learn how to limit antibiotic use, according to an animal health expert.

Modified virus leads to African swine fever vaccine potential

Scientists have discovered a way to modify the African swine fever virus (ASFV) to reduce its ability to cause infection and protect pigs from a strain that causes severe disease. Researchers at the...

Disease control ‘best practice’ key to limiting ASF risks

Sharing best practice in fighting African swine fever (ASF) is critical to preventing the spread of the disease in Europe, say food safety experts.

Control pig site access to limit disease risk

Restricting access to pig yards could help limit the risk of spreading diseases that have the potential to devastate herd health and productivity, according to a pig health expert.

Canadian herds take steps to PED-negative status

More than 40% of hog farms in Manitoba, Canada that were infected with porcine epidemic diarrhea are no longer testing positive for the disease, officials say.

6 steps to preventing piglet diarrhoea

Diarrhoea in the first days of life can easily kill a piglet, so protecting new-born animals from illness-causing bacteria is key to ensuring long term health and welfare of a swine herd.

Nutrition key to increasing sow productivity

Greater focus on sow nutrition can help swine producers drastically improve productivity and longevity across their herd, according to one of Canada’s senior nutritionists.

Individual pig care offers path to better health, uniformity

Making pig uniformity part of the management strategy from birth can maximize profitability throughout the growth cycle.

Three tips for talking to consumers about animal health

Growing consumer interest in antibiotic resistance and the way antimicrobials are used on farms means more hog farmers are facing questions about the way they care for their animals.

Pork producers need to proactively communicate with consumers to change the dialogue

Pork producers and swine veterinarians need to take a more active role in consumers’ food conversations for them to get an accurate picture of how pigs are raised, said Tamika Sims, PhD, director...

In-feed antibiotics best addressed on a case-by-case basis

Adjusting to changes in how and when to use in-feed antibiotics is an ongoing effort. While those products are still available under veterinarian supervision for prevention and treatment of a...

New claim provides flexible dosing for M. hyo medication

Pork producers battling swine respiratory disease associated with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) now have more flexibility when using Lincomix® (lincomycin hydrochloride) Type A medicated...

Calls to cut antibiotics could hurt pig health, vet warns

Calls to ban antibiotics for disease protection in pig and other livestock systems could damage animal welfare and compromise the United States’ food system, industry leaders say.

11 barriers to reducing antimicrobial use

Inflexible production systems and high production costs are preventing pig producers from reducing antimicrobial use on pig farms, according to scientists.

Rapid response project aims to limit disease risk to US swine herds

A nationwide project to speed up the response to emerging disease outbreaks hopes to better protect the US swine herd against health threats.

Genetic diversity, changing clinical picture make IAV-S detection challenging

By Phillip Gauger, DVM, MS, PhD Associate Professor Iowa State University   Influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) remains among the top health challenges facing the US swine industry and, worse...

Food-chain specialist: Communicate the emotional side of pork production, not the technical

The food supply chain has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. “It’s so much more complex and consumer driven,” said Justin Ransom, supply chain strategist. “Today’s consumer can ask...

Can’t we just let boars be boars?

By Larry Rueff, DVM Swine Veterinary Services  Greensburg, Indiana

Balancing good and bad bacteria key to effective gut health, nutrient absorption

Developing techniques and tools to encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut is key to producing healthier pigs that require fewer antibiotics over the long term, according to swine...

New antibiotics targets announced for UK pig sector

UK pig produers are working to meet ambitious new targets to further reduce antibiotic use in the industry.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome control in Asia

by Marlon L. Linatoc Regional Technical Manager Swine Asia-Pacific and Greater China, Zoetis Inc.    Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) continues to be one of the most...

Boar stud requires high health status, zero tolerance for biosecurity errors

A boar stud producing semen for thousands of sows needs to maintain excellent health with the highest level of biosecurity possible.

Research boost needed to protect US pig sector

The US government needs to renew its commitment to funding agricultural research if the pork sector is to have the tools it needs to fight new and emerging diseases.

What to expect during an on-farm CSI audit

An on-farm visit by an auditor will likely be routine for pork producers in the future. Knowing what an auditor expects and what pork producers can do during the audit will help prepare for a...

Pig Health Today launches mobile app

Pig Health Today, the world’s only news website focused entirely on swine health, welfare and sustainability, has partnered with sponsor Zoetis to launch a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Pork producers gain ground against PRRS with reduced production losses

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains one of the most costly viruses infecting US herds. But an Iowa State University study showed the annual cost of PRRS dropped nearly $100...

Pig care: If there’s something off, don’t try to ‘look him well’

Watching pigs may not be glamorous or stimulating, but it’s a responsibility that Bob Blomme, DVM, takes very seriously.

Air-cleaning technology could slash respiratory disease risk

A technology that reduces dust, germs and gasses from the air in pig sheds could help cut the number of pigs that develop lesions associated with respiratory disease.

Practicing precision animal health

Ross Kiehne, DVM, practices what he calls “precision animal health.” “I’m only going to provide the vaccine or antibiotic that’s right for the pig at that time in its life to make it as...

SPECIAL REPORT: ‘Tis the season for PED virus

No one is ready to call it a holiday tradition, but winter is prime time for outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. For this Special Report, Pig Health Today talked with experts about how the...

Yeske: Provide better pig care — one animal at a time

Taking time to walk the pens, make eye contact with each pig and pull the sick ones for individual care seems to conflict with inherent efficiencies associated with population medicine.

Secure Pork Supply plan: Beginning steps to safeguard your herd

According to an Iowa State University study, the potential revenue losses to US pork and beef industries from an FMD outbreak would run $12.8 billion annually with associated losses to corn and...

Urine sampling can reliably detect penicillin residues in sows

Urine sampling is a reliable way to detect procaine penicillin G (PPG) residues prior to processing and may help producers avoid processing-plant violations, according to Locke A. Karriker, DVM, a...

USDA, industry groups take issue with WHO’s latest statement on poultry, livestock antibiotics

The USDA’s chief scientist and several scientific and industry organizations took issue with the World Health Organization’s recent news release recommending that poultry and livestock...

Lessons learned from PRRS outbreak investigations

By Derald Holtkamp, MS, DVM Iowa State University, College of Veterinary MedicineAmes, Iowa   It’s been three decades since veterinarians and researchers first recognized porcine reproductive...

Getting pigs off to a good start with better gut health

Improved education of caretakers is one way pork producers can help ensure their pigs have a healthy gut and get off to a good start, Noel Garbes, DVM, technical services veterinarian, Zoetis, told...

Is your hog farm prepared to navigate quarantines in a FAD outbreak?

Each year, approximately 25% of all the pork produced in the US is exported to other countries. Imagine if access to those markets closed abruptly. That’s the scenario pork producers would face if...

Accurate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae diagnosis challenging but essential

The diagnosis of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) infection remains challenging but can be made with confidence when a systematic approach is applied and the clinical picture aligns with laboratory...

ISU scientists pinpoint indicators of acute pain in neonatal pigs

Indicators of acute pain in piglets have been identified by researchers from Iowa State University (ISU).

SHIC matrix weighs the impact of emerging swine diseases

As porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and Seneca Valley virus surfaced within the US swine herd in recent years, it underscored the threat posed by emerging and foreign animal diseases.

Why PRRS elimination doesn’t work in some herds

Amber Stricker, DVM, discusses reasons why successful PRRS elimination isn’t always achieved in some herds.

What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal...

How 50 swine vets plan to manage seasonal respiratory disease in the new VFD era

For as long as any pork producer can remember, fall’s arrival traditionally was a signal to add a respiratory antibiotic to the grower-finisher rations or, at the very least, pulse feed a...

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: Elimination or control?

By Clayton Johnson, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Integrated Veterinary Network

What you need to know about CSI auditors

Anyone who owns hogs or hog buildings should expect a visit someday by an auditor who will conduct an animal-welfare and food-safety audit. Usually a packer or processor requests the audit, which is...

Virtual clinic drives better understanding of disease outbreaks

A virtual veterinary clinic that monitors pig-disease trends and provides an early alert system for diagnostic laboratories and swine practitioners is helping the US pork industry stay head of...

PCV MH vaccines provide equal protection in study, but lung lesions, ADG, final weight differ

Three porcine circovirus (PCV) vaccines compared in a recent study equally protected pigs against PCV type 2d and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, but there were some significant differences in gross...

Greenway: ‘Don’t be afraid to engage’ consumers on antibiotics, welfare

Pork producers should find more ways to engage with consumers and share their stories about responsible antibiotic use and welfare, says Brad Greenway, America’s Pig Farmer of the Year in 2016.

Urine-sampling options make it easier to evaluate gilt and sow health

Urine samples are an effective but underutilized diagnostic tool for evaluating the nutritional, physiological and health status of gilts and sows.

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: ‘Fix the gilts, fix Mycoplasma’

There’s a lot we think we know about M. hyo under field conditions, but there’s a paucity of peer-reviewed literature to support much of the conventional wisdom we swine veterinarians apply to...

PEDV still taking major toll on US sow farms

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is still around and can lead to major losses for pork producers, cautioned Gene Nemechek, DVM, technical services veterinarian, Zoetis.

Taking oral-fluid samples for PRRS: How many and when?

Oral-fluid sampling can provide a simple, reliable way to surveil for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), Marisa Rotolo, DVM, of Iowa State University, reported at the 2017...

Livestock farming standards to get boost under antimicrobial-resistance plan

The European Commission has unveiled plans to promote better global livestock farming standards in a bid to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in animals and humans.

Farmers told to ‘stick to guidelines’ for antibiotics as experts question conventional usage

UK farmers and veterinarians have been told to continue to follow prescription guidelines for treating animals with antibiotics after a group of health experts suggested current guidance needed to be...

UK producers urged to up biosecurity in face of African swine fever risk

UK pig producers need to put robust disease control measures in place to protect the industry from the risk of African swine fever (ASF), according to an industry body.

‘Just in case’ approach needed for UK antibiotic use

Pig health and welfare experts have urged UK farmers to drop their “just in case” approach to antibiotics ahead of government negotiations on long-term targets.

Pig producers on guard after discovery of drug-resistant coccidiosis

Microbiologists are warning European pig producers to monitor the success of coccidiosis treatment toltrazuril after discovering the first signs of resistance to the drug.

‘Race to zero’ not the answer in antibiotics debate

Regulations around the use of antibiotics in feed should not encourage a race to “no antibiotics ever” production systems that could compromise pig welfare, according to a pork-industry...

Can we find the ‘next PED’ before it finds us?

Paul Sundberg, DVM, recalls sitting around a conference table in San Diego in spring 2013, talking with other swine veterinarians about a new pig disease burning through China at the time.

Ag groups demand FMD vaccine bank to protect farming sector

A coalition of more than 100 farm organizations and businesses have called on the US government to create a vaccine bank in case of future outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease.

7 steps to keeping farms PRRS-free this autumn

A methodical approach to disease prevention and control is vital to reducing the risk of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) flare-ups this autumn, according to a pig health expert.

Natural housing ventilation: How to get it right

From removing waste gases and disease plumes, to controlling humidity and temperature, getting air flows right in pig housing is vital to the health and welfare of livestock.

Better herd-health knowledge vital to preventing disease

Too few farmers understand how they can make best use of medications to control infections inside their own herd, according to a pig health expert.

‘Shaking pig syndrome’ identified on Austrian farm

Scientists in Austria have identified a virus that causes a congenital tremor in piglets and can result in heavy losses to infected litters.

Five ways to control scours before they begin

Understanding the cause of scours can help reduce the negative impact of the condition on pig health and growth.

So far, so good: Pork producers adjusting well to new VFD rules

Implementation of the new veterinary feed directive (VFD) in swine has gone smoothly in the field, according to Chris Rademacher, DVM, Iowa State University Extension.

Scientists aim to breed out sow aggression

Scientists at Michigan State University (MSU) are hoping to help pig producers improve herd welfare thanks to a $1 million project aimed at finding ways to breed out sow aggression.

‘Secure Pork’ plan aims to ensure pig flow from uninfected farms during FAD outbreak

If a foreign animal disease (FAD) were to hit the US pork industry, the impact could be dramatic and widespread — most likely resulting in government-mandated quarantines around the affected areas...

Freedom of choice limits pig aggression

Designing sow housing that focuses on comfort and allowing pigs to make their own decisions can help minimize stress and aggression in group housing.

Anti-GnRH vaccine prevents unwanted pregnancies in Iberian gilts

A vaccine that temporarily delays puberty in gilts may help Iberian pork producers avoid unwanted pregnancies in free-range herds.

More than 900 swine-health professionals from 20 countries expected at 2017 Leman conference

More than 900 swine veterinarians, producers and industry leaders from at least 20 countries will attend the annual Allen D. Leman Swine Conference...

Currently available vaccines important tools for managing PEDV-infected sow herds

Currently available vaccines can be important tools for managing sow herds endemically infected with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).

Biosecurity must-haves for swine veterinarians

No one wants to introduce a harmful pathogen into a herd, but the reality is the more pig exposure that a person has, the riskier that visitor becomes, even if he or she is a veterinarian.

PEDV and other pathogens survive in feed for weeks

In 2013-2014, infection of pig farms with PEDV was a frequent event, even in farms using the highest level of biosecurity. In an effort to determine how this could happen, Scott Dee, DVM, began...

Pork industry teaming with NAHMS, FDA to score antibiotic use

National Pork Board’s David Pyburn, DVM, talked with Pig Health Today about two initiatives under way to help regulators grade the pork industry’s commitment to responsible antibiotic usage.

Gut bacteria deserve renewed focus

With the FDA’s new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules changing the way some feed-grade antimicrobials are used on the farm, other options are gaining more attention.

What’s the best PRRS strategy for your herd?

Every year, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) infects an estimated 25% to 45% of sow herds in the US, according to Clayton Johnson, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Clinic, Carthage,...

Understanding swine flu’s diversity key to better control programs

The number of swine influenza cases as well as the diversity of circulating flu viruses have increased in the past several years, based on experience at Iowa State’s Veterinary Diagnostic...

Understanding risks for M. hyo disease can help protect US swine herds

By Maria Jose Clavijo, DVM, PhD Research Assistant Professor Department of Veterinary Diagnostics and Production Animal Medicine College of Veterinary Medicine Iowa State University, Ames,...

Survey identifies gaps in employee biosecurity practices

For biosecurity to be effective, everyone working within the farm needs to understand and comply with the defined protocols. In reality, a person’s attitude can make or break the outcome, so it’s...

Want better biosecurity? Start with your pig trailers

Improving transportation biosecurity may be the last frontier the swine industry needs to conquer to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. According to Butch Baker, DVM, the spread of...

China launches national plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance

China’s government has launched a national plan to reduce antimicrobial use in poultry and livestock production in an effort to limit drug resistance.

‘Let us decide antibiotic treatment time,’ says vet

The amount of time pigs are treated with antibiotics should be at the discretion of animal health experts and not legislation, according to a leading veterinarian.

More training needed to fulfill sow-pen potential

The transition from sow stalls to pens will require greater levels of stockmanship and training if it is going to fulfill its health and welfare potential, according to a pig expert.

Tougher surveillance needed to control PED risk in Canada

The Canadian government is being urged to introduce tougher surveillance and containment measures to help limit the spread of porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) across Canada.

Feed biosecurity must address risk of PEDV transmission

The biosecurity of swine feed is important for producing healthy animals and safe pork. But until 2013, feed was considered a low-risk vehicle for transmitting viral pathogens to swine.

IAV-S elimination in breed-to-wean herds is challenging — but possible

Influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) continues to present an ever-changing health challenge in breed-to-wean populations.

Veterinarian offers tips for surviving a CSI audit

While audits are part of doing business, many pork producers still worry about going through the process. Amber Stricker, DVM, steps in to help clients prepare for or undergo an audit, which is...

Heat stress: It’s not just for market hogs

Losses due to heat stress are commonly associated with market hogs, particularly during transportation in the hot, humid summer months, but recent research shows that weaners and feeder pigs are...

Solve biosecurity overload by focusing on the basics

Keeping a hog farm free of pathogens can be a daunting task for producers. The process to evaluate potential risks and then undertake biosecurity measures to manage the risks has become complex. In...

Can soluble dietary fiber reduce the need for antimicrobials in nursery diets?

Increased soluble fiber in pig diets shows promise as an alternative for growth-promoting antimicrobials in nursery diets, according to Eric Burrough, DVM, Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Iowa State...

Prevent the spread of disease by properly cleaning water lines

One of the most basic — yet often overlooked — elements of pork production is water. A clean, safe palatable water supply ensures adequate hydration, encourages feed consumption and helps prevent...

Reproductive performance linked to live-weight and back-fat gains

Paying closer attention to both sow live weight and back-fat depth could help farmers improve reproductive performance in breeding herds, scientists report.

Herd health key to combating circovirus infections

Managing a herd’s overall health status is key to preventing the spread of potentially deadly circovirus between animals, say experts in pig health and nutrition.

Scotland’s pig producers back innovative disease control scheme

Almost all of Scotland’s commercial pig producers have signed a special charter committing to work together to control the spread of disease.

Cross-border scheme aims to limit pig disease risk in US, Canada

A scheme to tackle biosecurity issues in the United States and Canada should help limit the risk of disease transmission in north America’s pig herds, say pig health experts.

Keep opportunistic bacterial challenges in pigs at bay

Bacterial challenges facing pigs can be traced back to other shortfalls that weaken their immune system.

Want consumers’ trust? Plan to show the good, the bad and the ugly

New research shows when it comes to earning consumer trust on production practices, producers of pork and other foods will find that demonstrating “shared values” is three to five times more...

Routes of Senecavirus A transmission identified in breeding herds

A study of the way swine breeding herds were likely infected with Senecavirus A (SVA) underscores the importance of encouraging adherence to biosecurity procedures.

Sow parity has no effect on incidence and timing of influenza in piglets

Sow parity appears to have no effect on the incidence and timing of influenza infection in piglets, indicates a study presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Swine...

Colostrum may be best sample for PCV2 on sow farms

Colostrum may be the best sample to test for determining whether porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is present in sow herds, according to researchers at Iowa State University (ISU).

Hanor swine vet: Food animals deserve the same care and treatment as pets

Pigs are “very cool” animals — they’re all curious and very friendly from the time they’re baby pigs to sows and boars, explains Tara Donovan, DVM, company veterinarian for Hanor Company.

Study piglet behavior to improve chances of early survival

Encouraging farm staff to study piglets’ movement after farrowing could help them better identify weak animals, take action and improve early survival odds, scientists say.

Formula sheds light on disease risk

Understanding the transmission route of a disease pathogen, how long it’s infective, its survivability in the environment and routes of infection all build the foundation for creating effective...

Secure Pork Supply plan seeks to minimize disruption from foreign animal diseases

The National Pork Board, with major support from USDA, is creating a Secure Pork Supply plan to help America’s pig farmers respond quickly and successfully to a major threat, such as a foreign...

PEDV outbreaks prompt a ‘CSI Pipestone’ investigation

When PEDV devastated the US hog industry in 2013, the Pipestone System remained fairly unscathed, with only a couple of farms experiencing outbreaks. Their luck changed in January 2014.

Pig Health Today website now online, offering ‘all health, all the time’

Pig Health Today, a new website focused solely on news and information related to swine health, was launched today to help the US and global pork industries stay on top of the latest on disease...

Fine-tune ventilation, evaporation to combat heat stress in pigs

Without the ability to sweat, pigs must rely on conduction, convection, radiation, and respiration/evaporation to remove body heat. Forcing air across a wet pig — the process of convection and...

M. hyo: Control or elimination?

Effective control of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) has to start in the breeding herd to prevent problems with the disease in finishers, according to Lucina Galina, DVM, director of technical...

Migrant vet uncertainty raises questions for UK herd health

The health of the UK’s pig herd could be put at risk unless the country’s government moves to protect the status of foreign veterinarians working there, a leading vet says.

Post-Brexit support vital for UK pig welfare push

UK pig producers should receive government support if they are expected to adopt higher levels of animal welfare when the country leaves the European Union, industry leaders have said.

Disease-prevention considerations for people and supplies

“The success of any biosecurity program rests with compliance,” said Anna Romagosa, DVM, with PIC Europe.

Updated PRRS research book now available online

A new guide on managing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is now available online from the National Pork Board.

New Zealand pig sector welcomes $18M government biosecurity investment

New Zealand’s pig sector has hailed government plans to spend more than $18M NZD ($12.7 USD) on improving biosecurity as a vital step for the country’s producers.

Officials urged to make better use of Canadian pig disease data

Canada’s pig health officials must make better use of traceability data if they want to track swine disease outbreaks and contain them more effectively, industry experts say.

UK pig sector sets new targets for critically important antibiotics use

UK pig producers are being asked to reduce their use of certain “critically important” antibiotics under new guidelines adopted by the sector’s independent agency promoting responsible medicine...

Neurological disease in pigs linked to Sapelovirus

An outbreak of a severe, atypical neurologic disease in 11-week-old pigs has been linked to a novel sapelovirus and may be the first case of its kind in the US, according to a recently published...

New VFD rules affecting disease management for swine

The updated VFD rules that took effect in January 2017 haven’t required a big adjustment for the swine industry, but they have furthered the trend toward reduced antibiotic use — and the result...

Iowa veterinarian sees benefits to early PRRS vaccination

It takes 3 to 4 weeks for pigs to develop immunity against PRRSV after vaccination with a modified-live vaccine, so vaccinating early gives them the time they need to develop immunity by nursery age,...

Opportunistic pathogens prey on newly weaned pigs infected with a primary virus

Around 50% of pigs weaned today likely are infected with a primary viral pathogen, like porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) or swine influenza, reported Cameron Schmitt, DVM,...

Flushing feed mill with treated rice hulls reduces PEDV risk

The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) taught swine veterinarians and producers many hard lessons about feed management. Not only can the deadly virus be transported by feed ingredients, PEDV...

Positive-pressure ventilation makes a comeback to reduce PRRS transmissions

Producers looking for ways to reduce porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) find positive-pressure ventilation with some modifications works, especially in older building, according to...

Unloading docks at processing plants appear to be source of PRRSV

Unloading docks at processing plants may be one way that livestock trailers become contaminated with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).

Effective biosecurity requires multiple layers

Most hog farms have some level of biosecurity in place today, but simply outlining protocols doesn’t mean they’re effective.

Disinfectant effective against PEDV in freezing conditions

Contaminated hog trailers are now known to be partially responsible for spreading the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in 2013 as it emerged in the US.

Time to reboot disease surveillance

US pork production has gone through dramatic changes over recent decades, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the challenge that infectious disease presents. Swine veterinarians, researchers and...

Oropharyngeal swabs offer alternative for PRRSV diagnosis in wean-age pigs

Taking oropharyngeal swabs — that is, samples from the tonsils — appears to be an effective alternative means for detecting PRRSV in wean-age pigs, especially when the prevalence of infection is...

Proposed classification system to improve M. hyo control tested in commercial setting

By Lucina Galina Pantoja, DVM, PhD, Director, swine technical services, Zoetis

Change to FMD vaccine policy vital to protect US pig sector

The US foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccination policy needs a multi-million dollar overhaul to protect the country’s pig sector from the threat of the disease, farm leaders say.

Canada making progress in PED eradication

The Canadian pork industry is focused on eradicating Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea from the country, officials say.

Vigilance urged after SVV outbreak surge

Pig producers are being urged to be vigilant after an upswing in the number of outbreaks of the Seneca Valley virus (SVV). More than 60 cases of SVV, which causes lesions and lameness in pigs, were...

Microbiome may unlock new ways to treat pig disease

Research into the role of bacteria, viruses and other flora in the gut may offer a new line of defense against diseases in pigs, scientists say.

PCV3 may be a bigger problem than expected

The emergence of novel porcine circovirus-3 (PCV3) in US pig herds requires closer research into whether the disease is commonly circulating in the country’s hog population, scientists say.

Three-step approach for spotting sick sows

A three-pronged approach to observing sows can help identify illness, lower mortality and increase productivity, according to a leading vet.

Clay-fortified feed could help optimize pig diets

Natural minerals found in clay could help optimize the quality of pig feed by helping to manage the effects of nutritional imbalances in the gut.

Monitoring breeding productivity helps limit disease impact

Taking a systematic approach to identifying changes in breeding productivity could help limit the economic impact of infectious disease, according to scientists.

Act now to find alternatives to antibiotics, producers told

US hog farmers should take a hard look at their production practices if they are to maintain herd health and manage illness in the face of tougher antibiotics rules, a veterinarian urges.

Nutrition key to reproductive performance of hyper-prolific sows

Finding ways to boost feed intake in hyper-prolific sows is key to ensuring they continue to meet their lifetime reproductive potential.

Breeding productivity provides clues about herd health

Taking a systematic approach to identifying changes in pig productivity could help limit the economic impact of infectious disease, according to scientists.

Joint initiative aims to drive Canada’s pig welfare efforts

A joint government and industry initiative is helping drive Canadian pig producer’s efforts to improve animal welfare standards on their farms.

Greater clarity needed in animal care codes, say Canadian hog farmers

Canada’s pork producers are demanding greater clarity as the deadline for changes to the country’s pig code of practice approaches.

Consumer communication top priority for Canada’s pig producers

Improving communication with the public and the media must become a top priority for Canada’s pork industry, an industry expert has said.

Understanding animal behavior helps ensure better piglet care

Watching 21-day old piglets that just left their mothers being placed in a nursery barn takes a special “sixth” sense to understand what they’re feeling.

Technology, veterinary care helping to improve pig health, production on Illinois swine farm

Ness farm pigs get dessert before dinner. The Ness’ production system uses a liquid byproduct from an ice cream manufacturer to supply fat and energy to their pigs’ diet.

Swine vet: Factory-farm concept ‘couldn’t be further from the truth’

Today the term factory farm is used very widely, and most people think machines are making pigs, notes Seth Krantz, DVM, company veterinarian for Tosh Farms.

Losing family swine herd to disease turned this farmhand into a veterinarian

As a child, when the swine disease pseudorabies (Aujeszky’s disease) forced his father to sell all the family’s pigs and start over, Andrew Bents got the calling to become a swine veterinarian.

Oral fluids offer practical on-farm disease surveillance

Monitoring the spread of a pathogen is one part of disease surveillance. But early identification is another part — arguably with growing importance as millions of pigs move across state lines each...

Scientists to study true costs of PRRS to US hog farmers

The true costs of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) to US pig farms is set to be investigated by scientists looking at the effects of the disease on the country’s pork

Commonly used disinfectants can vary widely in efficacy

Commonly used disinfectants can have substantially different efficacy and should be tested against the pathogen of concern — and under the conditions of use — before they’re used on swine...

Snout wipes shown to be practical, efficient method for detecting swine influenza A

Snout wipes are a practical and efficient method of detecting influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S), according to a study presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association of Swine...

Piglet pain control during castration still needs answers

Castrating male piglets to prevent boar taint at market age is a common occurrence on US hog farms. However, as consumer interest in on-farm practices and animal welfare grows, producers will need...

US government invests $11M into antimicrobial resistance research

The United States’ National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is investing $11 million into research that could help reduce the amount of antimicrobials used in pig production. The funding...

Changing gut bacteria could boost herd productivity

Making use of unconventional feeds to alter the bacteria living in pig guts could make herds more productive and less likely to need antibiotics, scientists report. Rosie Nold, associate professor at...


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