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The editors of Pig Health Today are acutely aware of the hardships facing the pork industry as it responds to plant closures, labor shortages and other challenges resulting from the pandemic.

At the same time, we recognize that maintaining herd health and biosecurity are vital to the industry’s long-term security and sustainability. We therefore will continue to report on the latest news and information to help the pork industry meet this goal. As always, we welcome your comments and editorial suggestions.

Please click here to contact the editor.

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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.

“The pigs we care for will be food, but we don’t care for them any less,” she explains in a video produced as part of the Vets on Call series. “The food-animal vet has a responsibility to the animal and the consumer.”

All employees in the Hanor system participate in a well-animal training program during their first 90 days on the job, she explains.

“As a mom, I’m concerned about what my kids are eating,” Donovan shares. “I think we do a great job of raising safe, wholesome pork and we need to be proud of it.”

As she drives to one of the company’s farms, Donovan explains that confinement barns might not look as friendly as the big red barn most people think of but the conditions inside are much better for the pigs.

Inside, Donovan checks young pigs that have just been weaned and are placed in the nursery barn where it’s a warm 80° F even though the temperature is below zero outdoors.

“It’s really important that we make sure they’re eating and drinking and feeling well. This is the biggest transition time in their life,” Donovan explains.

“Our goal is to make sure that all pigs receive the best care every day,” Donovan stresses. “The people working in the pig barns really care, and it shows in the attention that they give to the animals.”

Vets on Call is a video series presented by Zoetis to showcase the important roles veterinarians play in food-animal production.

Watch part 2:

Posted on June 16, 2017

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    The Food and Drug Administration’s revised rules for antibiotic use in hogs, including the VFD, has led to a reduction in and more strategic use of antibiotics in swine.

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    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 productivity.

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    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, swine-welfare director for the AASV.

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