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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.

Butch Baker, DVM, pointed out the spread of porcine circovirus type 2 was transport-related, and for years it’s been known that porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus was likely transmitted in dirty trucks.

A big concern is the threat of foreign animal disease, especially foot-and-mouth disease, Baker told Pig Health Today. If the disease comes to the US, transportation will be the weak link in the swine industry’s biosecurity chain.

A major obstacle is the design of transport trailers. Although cleaning and disinfection — especially with heated drying — can eliminate pathogens, the design of trailers makes the process difficult, time consuming and costly. That’s why trailers are often simply scraped out instead of thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in between loads, he explained. Nevertheless, it’s the only option available until someone comes up with a viable solution, said Baker, formerly of Iowa State University and now a swine consultant.

Use of a truck wash, where a truck-wash employee instead of the trailer driver cleans the truck, is an option to consider, he said.

It is known that unloading pigs from the side of trailers can help reduce the spread of pathogens. The driver doesn’t have to walk in and out of the trailer— the pigs just walk off, Baker noted.

Full interview (14:19)

Part 1: What can be done to improve truck sanitation (2:13)

Part 2: The future of pig transportation (4:01)

Part 3: Biosecurity: There’s always room for improvement (2:44)

Part 4: Multi-site production presents challenges (2:14)

Part 5: New ideas for biosecurity (3:55)




Posted on July 27, 2017

tags: , , ,
  • 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.

  • 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 minimize disease transmission.

  • 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 diseases — can be transmitted via air.

  • Lessons learned from recent Seneca Valley outbreaks

    The Seneca Valley virus (SVV) is proving to be something of a test case for swine producers’ and veterinarians’ preparedness for foreign animal diseases.

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When a sow doesn’t reach her full potential, the cost to the farm and the income stream of the sow herd is often “grossly underestimated,” said John Deen, DVM, PhD, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

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