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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.

Mark Fynn, manager of Quality Assurance and Animal Care Programs with Manitoba Pork, Canada, said hog farmers should limit yard and barn access to those who definitely need to be there, reports The Pig Site.

To control where people go, producers should turn units into controlled access zones, installing gates in key areas to limit access wherever possible.

While feed deliveries, livestock trailers, staff and veterinarians need to get around and inside the barn, there are other services that don’t need the same access, Fynn said.

“For example, we have companies that remove carcasses from sites or we have companies that pick up garbage.

“It’s possible for the site to move those pickups from their bins to the end of their driveway so that those companies don’t actually have to come into the yard at all.”

Equipment delivery companies could also make drop-offs and collections off-site to limit the number of people entering and leaving a facility, he added.

“What we’re really doing is trying to encourage people as much as possible to evaluate those things,” Fynn said.

“The idea of putting up a gate at the end of the driveway and insisting on those people calling the barn before coming onto the site allows for one more opportunity for the producer to evaluate whether that person does need to come into the yard or not or come into the barn or not.”

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