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Category Archive: Global TOP NEWS, News, PGT GLOBAL, PGT US, Porcine Circovirus, Research, TOP NEWS

Diagnostic experts: PCV3 is common in US swine herds

PCV3 was first reported in 2016, but appears to have been present in swine populations decades prior to that time. PCV3 strains are similar to one another but are very different from PCV2.

The Maschhoffs combine technology and coaching to build a biosecurity culture

Biosecurity on hog farms is serious business, and it’s no secret that success hinges on how well protocols are carried out. For years, emphasis has been on building a “biosecurity culture,” and...

Moving parts: Integrated, holistic approach needed for effective mycoplasma control

Renewed interest in M. hyo and its impact on herd health and performance has prompted producers and veterinarians to re-evaluate control strategies for the costly bacterial disease.

PRRSV vaccine produces robust and lasting immune response when given to day-old piglets

A new study shows that piglets can mount a strong, specific and lasting immune response to PRRSV when vaccinated at 1 day of age.

Fogging helps establish Day 0 for M. hyo elimination

Maintaining a healthy herd takes time, energy and constant emphasis on biosecurity, Amy Maschhoff, DVM, told Pig Health Today.

Do’s and don’ts of cephalosporin use in swine

TOOLBOX, Issue 15: An interview with John W. Hallberg, DVM, PhD, Director, US Regulatory Affairs, Zoetis 

Researchers tackle survivability issues head-on

One in three pigs born on US farms fail to reach market, according to Jason Ross, PhD, a professor of animal physiology at Iowa State University and director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center.

Mycoplasma elimination possible, but more difficult on farrow-to-finish sites

With the right program in place, eliminating mycoplasma pneumonia is possible on many hog farms.

Hit delete: Vet says you don’t have to live with mycoplasma

M. hyo is a bacterium that US producers don’t have to live with. Elimination can be successful and cost-effective.

Sow pads show promise for reducing shoulder sores, related infections

During farrowing and lactation, sows can easily develop shoulder sores, which in turn become infected.  Could a little padding help?   

Population-based diagnostics pinpoint the power in numbers

The world of diagnostics is expanding. Instead of focusing on individual animals, population-based diagnostics help veterinarians and producers identify the health status of their barns more quickly...

Biosecurity: A practical approach

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd.. Carthage, Illinois

Foreign animal diseases and the line of last resort

By Larry Rueff, DVM, Swine Veterinary Services, Greensburg, Indiana

Researchers expand understanding of virus transmission in feed

As African swine fever virus continues to march across the globe, the US pork sector is laser focused on keeping it from reaching the homeland.

Is fogging an M. hyo-elimination option for your swine herd?

Paul Yeske, DVM, with the Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minn., has seen repeatable success with M. hyo elimination, along with the downstream effect of lower cost of production, better average daily...

Feed, water, air and comfort: Keys to prevent tail biting

Tail biting in pigs remains something of a mystery. What triggers a pig or pigs to bite tails? Why do some express this vice and others do not?

It’s back: Clinical outbreak of PCV2 in genetic herds reported

A clinical outbreak of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) occurred this past winter in otherwise healthy, well-vaccinated herds, Clayton Johnson, DVM, of Carthage Veterinary Service, told Pig Health...

Rate of PCV2 recombination not widely recognized

TOOLBOX, Issue 16: An interview with Meggan Bandrick, DVM, PhD Associate Director, Global Biologics Research, Zoetis

Processing fluids’ effectiveness in monitoring PCV2 in sow herds

Vaccines have provided effective control options for PCV2, but vertical transmission remains a challenge for some farms.

Steps to mitigate cross-contamination of piglet processing fluids with PRRS MLV

As piglets move from the sow farm to the growing stage, it’s important to know their porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) status.

Survey says: RWA production adversely affects pig health and welfare

Swine producers and veterinarians responding to a national survey said pressure to maintain the raised without antibiotics (RWA) label sometimes compromises animal health and welfare.

Carthage swine veterinarian: Focus on individual pig care can benefit entire production system

Taking care of every single pig seems like a daunting task when producers have hundreds or thousands of pigs under their care. Still, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Pipestone nutritionist highlights advancements to improve pig health

Producers know if a pig has good gut health in the nursery, it’s more likely to get off to a good start in the grow-finish barn. But with increased pressure on antibiotic use, nutritionists are...

Phase I of pelvic organ prolapse study offers new insights

A pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a dramatic, easy-to-identify event within the farrowing room. The difficult part is figuring out the cause and applying a solution.

On the road again? Be careful not to pig out

Swine veterinarians putting in long days on the road caring for pigs should be just as cognizant of their own health and nutritional needs.

Smithfield veterinarian aims to connect dots on animal welfare

For Mary Battrell, DVM, a swine veterinarian for Smithfield Foods, animal welfare is the connection between animal health, well-being and performance; and optimizing that connection improves...

Positive interactions with sows reduce piglet crushing

Encouraging staff to have more direct involvement with managing and handling sows can have positive impacts on herd welfare and mortality rates, say scientists.

Impact of control options for Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis

Helping piglets make a smooth transition at weaning is always a priority, but bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis can make that goal particularly challenging.

Debriefing: Retrospective on the VFD experience

By Clayton Johnson, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Integrated Veterinary Network

Maintaining performance in growing pigs despite production stress

TOOLBOX, Issue 10: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, PAS, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

Processing fluids hold promise for PCV2 testing on sow farms

Understanding the pathogen status of a sow herd helps determine the prevention, control and treatment options to protect piglets as they grow. For PCV2 there is no treatment; however, vaccination is...

Watch your Strep: Keep your guard up for this evolving bacterium

Few things remain the same for long on a hog farm. By the very nature of today’s production system, pigs are continuously moving on or off a site. One thing that remains constant is Strep suis.

PRRS in growing pigs linked to sow outbreaks

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in growing pigs may play an important role in PRRS outbreaks among sow herds.

Does PRRS influence weaned pigs’ nutritional response?

In the past 30 years, the growth and body composition of US market hogs has changed dramatically, but the same cannot be said for dietary vitamin and mineral levels.

A simple scoring system can provide insights into tail biting and lameness

Tail biting and lameness directly impact the well-being of growing pigs, which in turn impacts their productivity and the farm’s economics.

Resurgence of ‘old’ bacterial diseases in pigs: Why?

Three bacterial diseases considered under control recently flared up creating new challenges in hog operations. The older diseases include Haemophilus parasuis (parasuis), Streptococcus suis (strep)...

Know the feed risk factors for African swine fever

As African swine fever (ASF) continues its insidious spread through China and surrounding countries, the need to keep it out of US herds becomes more imperative.

Pork industry makes progress on pain management

Pain management for pigs has always been a challenge, partly because it’s difficult to measure levels of pain and partly because there are no FDA-approved drugs labeled for pain management in pigs.

National ASF-surveillance plan: What you need to know

The pork industry leans heavily on diagnostics to minimize the impact of disease, but they’re especially critical for monitoring African swine fever (ASF) and other trade-limiting foreign animal...

Data show filtered farms break less often with PRRS

Nine years of data from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project show farms with air-filtering systems have fewer outbreaks of PRRS than farms without filters.

African swine fever, Strep suis hot topics at 2019 Leman Conference

The threat of African swine fever and its impact on the global protein market will be among several keynote lectures planned during the upcoming 2019 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference in St. Paul,...

Connor: ASF fears prompting broader view of biosecurity

Maintaining good biosecurity has long been key to advancing the health, well-being and productivity of hog farms, but the threat of African swine fever has raised the bar and prompted veterinarians...

Adequate gilt acclimation helps minimize the PRRSV ‘tax’

By Clayton Johnson, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Integrated Veterinary Network

Summer Solstice Special: Managing Heat Stress in Pigs

Behold the Summer Solstice, a good time to think about the hot, steamy days ahead and how they'll affect swine health, welfare and performance. Pig Health Today talked with experts about helping pigs...

Davies: Focus on optimizing antibiotic use, not volume

The US pork industry has a good track record for using antibiotics responsibly, but how should it be graded for its efforts?  By volume?  Types of antibiotics used?  Resistance trends? 

Ractopamine has little influence on iodine value in pig fat carcass

TOOLBOX, Issue 14: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, PAS, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

Optimizing nutrition key to unlocking full benefits of immunocastration

An alternative technique to physical castration could offer US hog producers a host of financial and management benefits.

On the road again? Don’t forget Pig Health Today podcasts

Most of Pig Health Today’s video interviews with leading health experts and other opinion leaders can be downloaded as podcasts and listened to on mobile devices or through audio systems of most...

Five challenges facing swine veterinarians — and how to address them

Today’s swine veterinarians are great multitaskers by necessity, said Deborah Murray, DVM, veterinary services manager, with New Fashion Pork, Jackson, Minnesota, at the 2019 AASV meeting.

Early identification key to managing lameness in sow herds

By Claire LeFevre, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Illinois

Feed-mill biosecurity critical to reducing disease transmission

Feed and feed ingredients are generating a lot of interest as possible vectors in transmitting swine diseases.

Some aspects of Senecavirus A continue to mystify researchers

While the spikes of Senecavirus A have plateaued in recent years, researchers in the pork industry are still confounded by the elusive virus and what triggers outbreaks.

Emerging technologies at AASV: Four new tools to boost efficiency

Between tight margins and constant herd-health challenges, pork producers are always looking for new ways to increase efficiencies and profits while also increasing transparency.

Senecavirus A: Several questions remain unanswered

Senecavirus A (SVA) is detected in a pig’s tonsils about 40 days after infection with the virus — a finding that raises some interesting questions.

Emerging technologies at AASV: Three cool tools headed to hog farms

The so-called Internet of Things — that emerging world in which everyday tools like thermostats and doorbells suddenly become indispensable smart devices — is not lost on the pork industry.

Aureomix S provides effective replacement for Mecadox

TOOLBOX, Issue 12: An interview with Thomas Painter, DVM, Senior Technical Service Veterinarian,Zoetis

Picking your battles is key to biosecurity success

Biosecurity is one of those on-farm topics that gets a lot of time and attention, but it can easily fall apart in the day-to-day reality of managing pigs.

Today’s forecast: Scattered PRRS outbreaks with isolated sprinkles of PED

Forecasting swine-disease outbreaks might become a lot like predicting the weather as scientists combine monitoring disease data with computer models.

What to do when emotions run high in a disease break

Any way you look at it, going through a disease break on a farm is difficult. “The pigs are easy; it’s the people that make things difficult.”

Reducing stress can aid pig health, performance

Pigs can get stressed, just like people, and the impact can be just as serious.

Perineal scoring first clue to pelvic-organ prolapse in sow-mortality project

A large research project involving 104 US sow farms and 400,000 sows is expected to identify factors related to the recent increase in sow mortalities caused by pelvic-organ prolapses.

Good hygiene key to health and performance in fattening units, scientists find

Investing in biosecurity in fattening units could see Europe’s pig sector increase its earnings by billions of Euros a year thanks to improved pig health and growth rates.

Why do summer PRRS breaks last longer than winter breaks?

Summer outbreaks of PRRS take 15 weeks longer to stabilize than PRRS outbreaks beginning in the winter, according to data from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project (MSHMP).

Estrus suppression boosts gilt welfare, productivity in Canada

Delaying sexual maturity in gilts is helping pig producers in Canada streamline their production systems while improving carcass quality and animal welfare.

Imported feed ingredients: Supplier’s sourcing, biosecurity, shipping vital to product integrity, safety

Brian Payne, DVM, technical services veterinarian at Zoetis, recently talked with editors of Pig Health Today about African swine fever (ASF) and the possible risks of importing the virus through...

Lincomix offers flexible dose rate for M. hyo

TOOLBOX, Issue 7: An interview with Thomas Painter, DVM, US Pork Technical Services, Zoetis 

What’s your ‘risk attitude’? The role of human behavior in biosecurity

How human behavior impacts biosecurity decisions is a new frontier that’s critical to producers.

AVMA releases first-ever guidelines for depopulation of animals

The AVMA has published its first ever Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals to help veterinarians support animal welfare in situations where the difficult decision to depopulate has been made.

Multiple infections? It’s important to get to the root cause

Disease management can be challenging. You have a list of possible causes, but unless you get to the root cause, those symptoms are likely to recur.

Why did sow-mortality rates jump to 15%?

The spike in sow-mortality rates over the past decade has prompted the US pork industry to hunt for answers.

Secure Pork Supply plan updated to meet changing FAD needs

With African swine fever (ASF) well established in China and parts of Europe, US pork producers need to take steps now to protect their interests in the face of an outbreak.

Dee: Mitigants combined with extended storage time help guard against virus transmission

Feed additives that mitigate viruses, combined with extended storage times, could help protect the US pork industry from African swine fever and other foreign animal diseases.

Castration alternative offers faster growth, more quality meat in study

A novel castration alternative allows male pigs to grow faster and produce more high-quality meat than physically castrated or entire hogs, a new analysis shows.

Understanding feed flow, biosecurity critical in ASF battle

The US pork industry is nervous about African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases entering the country — and for good reason.

Action plan, training keys to humane euthanasia of pigs

A critical part of humane animal care on pig farms is responsible and timely euthanasia. However, identifying individuals for the job, training them and having a plan to carry out the process can...

Inflammation, stress put pressure on sow longevity

In recent years, producers have focused on pigs per sow per year and number of pigs weaned to maximize profits, but increased litter size puts pressure on sow longevity.

USDA expands ASF awareness tools to keep the virus out of the US

USDA has committed new resources to raising the awareness of African swine fever (ASF) and the importance of keeping the virus from entering the US.

Are you giving M. hyo the attention it deserves?

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyo) isn’t a new problem in the pork industry. I’s been around for years, but that’s exactly the point: Why is the industry still wrestling with it?

PRRS vaccine overcomes maternal immunity in day-old piglets

A new vaccine for PRRS has been shown to overcome maternal immunity in newborn piglets, offering protection from this costly disease from before weaning through slaughter.

Committing time, attention to pig’s first 24 hours key to health, uniformity

The farrowing room is a demanding place — one that needs to accommodate the divergent needs of a 500+-pound sow and her 10, 15 or 20 piglets weighing anywhere from 1.5 to 3 pounds.

Carthage vets focusing on ‘regional’ IAV-S vaccination strategies for breeding herds

As influenza viruses evolve, is there a more effective way to manage vaccinations for influenza A virus in swine?

New technologies may yield new insights on antibiotic use, resistance

The pork industry has a reputation for using antibiotics responsibly, but when the industry looks at antimicrobial use and tries to understand how products either mitigate or promote resistance,...

Mycoplasma control starts with stabilizing sow herd

Economic losses caused by the bacterium Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae run between $3 to $10 per finishing hog due to reduced pig performance, according to Elise Toohill, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Service.

Roundtable: Industry structure, culture, wild boars team up to intensify ASF threat in China

The discovery of African swine fever (ASF) in China’s wild boar population in late 2018 adds a new dimension to the already ominous disease threat — one that could possibly leave the Chinese to...

USDA steps up measures to prevent ASF spread to the US

As the spread of African swine fever (ASF) across Asia shows no signs of slowing, US pork producers have watched with a nervous eye toward international commerce and travel.

Is it time to eliminate PED from US herds?

By Joseph F. Connor, DVM, MS, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Illinois

Gene editing offers future options to address swine diseases

Whether the focus is human or animal medicine, gene editing has created a buzz today about its potential for addressing numerous health issues.

Animal welfare key to pork producers’ continuous improvement

Animal well-being is not a new concept and has long been a priority on hog farms. “It’s one of the ethical principles within the industry’s We Care initiative,” said Sherry Webb,...

‘One Health’ approach needed to balance antibiotic usage, animal welfare

When it comes to responsible antibiotic management, there are wide-ranging views and interpretations on usage, impact, future direction and even terminology.

FDA’s antibiotic guidance and VFDs continue a smooth transition

It’s fast approaching 2 years since the FDA implemented its revised guidance for antibiotic use in food animals. At the center of the effort is the veterinary feed directive (VFD).

Why sows leave the herd: Biological priorities and productivity

When it comes to sow productivity, culling and mortality issues, “the simple answer is there’s no simple answer,” John Deen, DVM, University of Minnesota swine epidemiologist, told Pig Health...

Keep guard up for strep, parasuis in newly weaned pigs

Newly weaned pigs face many challenges — new environment, feed, pen mates. They also face the challenge of bacterial infections like strep and parasuis, the two most common systemic bacterial...

Strategies to weaken PRRS’ grip on US herds

After more than three decades, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) remains a serious disease threat to swine units in the US.

Producer priorities drive NPB swine-health research

There’s no shortage of swine-health issues that would benefit from research investment, but when it comes to allocating Pork Checkoff funds, producers make the decisions.

New council to direct swine-disease response

For years, the USDA and US pork industry have had plans in place to address a foreign animal disease, but PED and ASF developments raised the priority status to a new level.

Rapid Response Plan offers CSI team for emerging diseases

Determining the cause of a peculiar health condition in pigs is not unlike a crime scene investigation (CSI). The veterinarian, producer and diagnosticians search for clues into what, how and why the...

Tale of two viruses: PCV3 impact unknown while PCV2 continues to evolve

Genetic sequencing demonstrates that porcine circovirus type 3 (PCV3) is significantly different from PCV2, but otherwise little is known about the virus.

A question of when: How the US pork industry is preparing for a possible FAD outbreak

This is the second in a two-part series on foreign animal diseases.  Part 1 looks at the economic impact of a FAD outbreak.

Special report: FAD outbreak could cost US agriculture $200 billion over 10 years

This is the first in a two-part series on foreign animal diseases. Part 2 looks at what the US pork industry is doing to head off an FAD outbreak and to prepare for one.

How FADs have affected foreign markets

Since the middle of the 20th century, numerous foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreaks involving the pork industry have been recorded throughout the world.

Veterinarian sees changes to three high-risk swine diseases

Three diseases affecting finishing hogs — Senecavirus A, porcine sapelovirus and erysipelas — have undergone changes over the past year that warrant the pork industry’s attention.

BMD®: What is its future in pork production?

TOOLBOX, Issue 5: An interview with Daniel Nelson, PhD, PAS, Senior Swine Nutritionist, Zoetis 

Don’t lose sight of M. hyo while battling other swine pathogens

TOOLBOX, Issue 1: An interview with Lucina Galina Pantoja, DVM, PhD, Director, Swine Technical Services, Zoetis 

Researchers create algorithm to predict PEDV outbreaks

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an algorithm that could give pig farms advance notice of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreaks.

Enriching sow environment and diet improves sow welfare, early piglet survival

New research confirms that environmental stress during gestation can influence piglet health and mortality after birth.

Tails or testicles: Which are better for PRRSV monitoring?

Pooled serum samples are a common method to monitor PPRSV in piglets. But this typically involves a limited number of samples, which reduces the sensitivity and makes detection especially challenging...

ASF threat: Three US swine vets share insights from the frontline

The rapid spread of ASF throughout China and other regions of the world has raised concerns the disease will ultimately make its way to the US — a development that could cripple the nation’s pork...

Z-CAS helping feed mills, producers get the most from medicated feed additives

TOOLBOX, Issue 6: An interview with Marc Howerton, Customer Analytical Services Supervisor, Zoetis

Herd performance best measure of PRRS vaccine efficacy

TOOLBOX, Issue 9: An interview with Jose Angulo, DVM, PRRS Specialist, Managing Veterinarian, Zoetis 

Tackling PRRS: Managing outbreaks to limit damage

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a virus that can take a significant toll on pig producers due to reproductive losses, decreased performance and damaging secondary infections....

Quarantine window for feed ingredients may reduce hog disease risk

Foreign animal diseases (FAD) are top of mind as the ongoing outbreaks of African swine fever (ASF) in China, Belgium and elsewhere, have raised the stakes to implement new practices designed to...

Processing fluids helping to fine tune diagnostics in swine herds thought to be PRRS-negative

Collecting aggregate samples of processing fluids during tail docking and castration is proving to be an excellent way to monitor herds for porcine reproductive and respiratory disease (PRRS) virus,...

Seven tips for fine tuning sow feed efficiency

Want to know what’s really impacting your bottom line? Get down to slat level, says a sow-management specialist. That’s where the less obvious feed-related factors could be stealing your ROI.

Improving welfare leads to higher herd performance

Measures to improve animal welfare on hog farms can improve — rather than jeopardize — economic performance of herds, scientists have discovered.

3D cameras help limit tail biting in pigs

A high-tech system which uses 3D cameras to spot tail movements in pigs could soon help farmers identify the early signs of tail biting, scientists in the UK have discovered.

13 tips for rearing healthier, more profitable pigs with fewer antibiotics

Controlling and limiting the amount of antibiotics on a farm doesn’t have to be to the detriment of a herd’s overall health — and can, in fact, lead to a more profitable and sustainable...

Dee: African swine fever outbreak in China major threat to US pork

News that China broke with African swine fever generated great concern for many in the US swine industry, including Scott Dee, DVM, Pipestone Veterinary Services.

Dipsticks offer early warning of sow urinary-tract infections

Minimizing urinary-tract infections is an important step — not only in securing a sow’s overall health but also its productivity and, ultimately, its longevity.

Tips for proper selection of cleaning, disinfection products

By Neal Benjamin, DVM Carthage Veterinary Service Carthage, Illinois

‘Immune-mediated protection’ key to managing Group C rotavirus

Rotavirus is not a new disease facing the swine industry, but it’s also not going away. There are various groups of rotaviruses that impact piglets differently.

Non-thermal plasma reactors can inactivate PRRSV

Hog-farm biosecurity measures have largely focused on minimizing the transmission of infectious agents on various surfaces. However, it’s been shown that PRRSV — and possibly other respiratory...

Feed duration biggest issue under new swine VFD rule

More than a year into FDA’s new veterinary feed directive (VFD) rules, pork producers and veterinarians are finding the potential problem spots.

Employee training improves piglet-survival rates

An employee-training program focused on online training followed by tracked, in-barn verification experiences helped a start-up farm achieve top piglet-survival rates, according to a study.

Training staff to spot sick pigs early leads to higher performance, lower mortality

Pig health is critical for maintaining animal welfare and ensuring a steady supply of safe and affordable pork.

PCR falls short in monitoring PRRSV transport biosecurity

Transport biosecurity is a growing priority as evidence shows that contaminated livestock trailers are a significant risk in spreading viruses between herds.

Antibiotic use at weaning can reduce acute illness in pigs

The transition into the nursery phase for just-weaned pigs presents many challenges as they adapt to a new diet, a new environment and increased competition. Young pigs often need some extra help.

The big imposter: Senecavirus A prompts frequent false alarms at Minnesota pork plant

Employees at the Hormel pork-processing plant in Austin, Minn., well understand the drill for a foreign animal disease (FAD) investigation.

Two tactics to reduce stillborns and improve piglet survival

Two midwestern sow operations recently discussed how each achieves high piglet-survival rates by using different techniques to attend farrowing.

PCV2: Future considerations for an evolving virus

Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) may not be a new virus challenge for pork producers and swine veterinarians, but it remains a constant challenge.

Three simple, effective ways to help hogs beat the heat this summer

For many reasons, including historically warmer weather and the fact that sows now produce bigger litters, pigs are more susceptible to heat stress, which could potentially affect their performance...

Heat stress: How much does it drain your pigs and profits?

Each year, heat stress costs US pig farmers about $900 million in revenues — about twice the amount lost as a result of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Pig Health Today lines up video interviews with top experts at WPX

At least 30 swine-health experts and trend watchers will be interviewed on camera over the next three days as part of Pig Health Today’s news coverage of the 2018 World Pork Expo.

ALL HEALTH, ALL THE TIME

Pig Health Today, the world’s only news website and magazine focused exclusively on swine health, will mark its first anniversary this week at World Pork Expo.

Early PRRS vaccination helps protect pigs through slaughter

A new, single-dose vaccine for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been shown to protect pigs from before weaning to slaughter, helping prevent secondary infections and...

Crossing the line: Biosecurity for employee entry is still a work in progress

By Derald Holtkamp, MS, DVM Associate Professor Iowa State University

Special edition of Pig Health Today captures presentations from 2-day PRRS conference

Pig Health Today has published a free, 32-page special report, “Framing the Future of PRRS,” with news summaries of eight presentations by veterinarians and scientists specializing in porcine...

Retailers setting their sights on pain management in pig production

Although antibiotics and sow housing have remained center stage in recent years, retailers are increasingly putting pressure on producers to address pain management as part of their...

Dietary alternatives to antibiotics show mixed results in ISU research review

Given the task to find and review research on dietary alternatives for sub-therapeutic antibiotic growth promotants, Wes Schweer and a team of pork-industry experts didn’t know what to expect.

ESPHM 2018 to focus on global issues in swine health

Swine veterinarians, researchers and industry leaders from around the world will gather at the European Symposium of Porcine Health Management (ESPHM), to be held May 9-11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.

Cull sow market breeding ground for disease transmission

Many sows sold into the cull sow market become “frequent travelers” and pose a serious risk of disease transmission if a foreign animal-disease (FAD) outbreak occurs.

Breeding sows without CD163 gene might ultimately eliminate PRRS virus

Sows without the CD163 gene are not only resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus, they also give birth to healthy, normal piglets — a finding that could...

IPIC targeting losses from sow mortality

Healthy and productive sows help ensure profitable and efficient herds. So, when the sow mortality rate due to pelvic organ prolapse started to increase throughout the industry for no apparent...

‘Don’t blame antibiotics use on production systems,’ says UK pig sector

The UK pig sector has warned campaigners against oversimplifying the link between production systems and antibiotics use.

Is colostrum the ‘golden ticket’ to driving down antibiotic use?

UK swine farmers are being urged to recognize the value of giving newborn pigs good-quality colostrum as part of industry efforts to drive down antibiotics use.

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).

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 3: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2018 American Association of Swine Veterinarians is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2017 coverage (Part 3...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 2: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2018 American Association of Swine Veterinarians is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2017 coverage (Part 2...

US pork industry’s first vaccine with two PCV2 genotypes announced at AASV

The US pork industry’s first vaccine to include two genotypes of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) — 2a and 2b — was announced on the first day of the American Association of Swine...

SPECIAL REPORT, Day 1: News reports and interviews from AASV

The 2018 American Association of Swine Veterinarians is under way. Our editors are onsite, covering sessions and capturing interviews for future posts. Here's a look back at our 2017 coverage (Part 1...

Premier issue of Pig Health Today magazine now available

The premier issue of Pig Health Today magazine is off the press and being mailed to some 10,000 pork producers, swine consultants and opinion leaders in the US. The colorful, 36-page magazine can...

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.

Steps to keep the incidence of stillborns at bay

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

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Build up winter housing defenses to ward off disease

Optimizing pig sheds is vital for maintaining herd health, but in the winter months, getting the environment right is especially important in warding off illness.

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...

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.

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...

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...

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.

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.

‘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.

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.

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...

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...

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.

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...

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.

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...

Keep opportunistic bacterial challenges in pigs at bay

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

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).

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...

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.

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...

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...

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...

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.

Boar taint vaccination: Plus points for an ‘entire’ market

For years, Britain has boasted some of the world’s highest standards of pig welfare. But as continental Europe moves to ban surgical castration, the UK’s “castration-free” status may no...

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...

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...

Demonstration farm helping pork industry see benefits of pig-castration alternative

A group of 250 intact male piglets arrives at the demonstration farm ready to be the face of a new type of pork production.

Four strategies for managing piglet diarrhea

Nutrition, commercial vaccines, good hygiene and immunity of piglets through colostral transfer are four key strategies in managing piglet neonatal and peri-weaning diarrhea.

Italian meat company balances tradition, quality with need for greater sustainability

A century-old salumi maker says sustainable and welfare-friendly processes are key to keeping its traditional products relevant to today’s consumers.

Castration alternative credited with improving feed efficiency, carcass quality on Belgian farm

A pig producer in Belgium has reported that making the switch from surgical castration to boar-taint vaccination has resulted in better carcass quality, improved feed conversion and reduced...

Aureomix S finding its niche, and then some, in new VFD era

Feed medications used for many years to manage common diseases of swine now require a veterinary-client-patient relationship plus a veterinary feed directive (VFD) before they can be administered. ...

Boar-taint vaccination associated with less male aggression in Australian study

Boar-taint vaccination improved the welfare of male pigs kept under commercial conditions by inhibiting sexual and aggressive behavior, according to new research from Australia.

Be prepared for surgical castration and tail docking ban, EU producers told

Europe’s pig producers should prepare themselves for an eventual ban on surgical castration and tail docking across the continent, according to a leading industry expert.

Enriched pens linked to less gestational stress, lower piglet mortality

Housing sows in enriched pens can reduce stress and have a positive impact on the development and survival rate of piglets, according to scientists.

Bigger not always better in quest for sustainable pork

Striving to produce heavier pigs is not necessarily the answer to increasing pig productivity and farm profitability, an expert in pig genetics has warned.

Benefits of castration alternative presented at global pig-health event

Two world-renowned experts discussed the economic and welfare benefits of using a novel castration alternative at the 2016 International Pig Veterinary Society conference in Dublin.

Castration also hurts the bottom line in pig production

A new study from Spain shows that surgical castration leads to higher mortalities and lower weaning weights in male piglets — and as a result, diminished economic returns.

French pork producer focuses on sustainability to meet evolving consumer demands

In a country world-famous for its food, a small French pig producer’s strategy for meeting consistently high standards of quality, welfare and nutrition has earned it a spot on the map.


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