Hardly any progress in pig health in last 20 years, says expert

18-01-2012 | | |
Hardly any progress in pig health in last 20 years, says expert

A Ghent University professor has qualified progress in pig health in the last 20 years as minimal, Dutch agricultural newspaper Boerderij Vandaag reports.

Professor Dominiek Maes, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Ghent University, Belgium, spoke about this topic at a symposium on pig health in the Dutch town of Venray.
Maes said that progress predominantly occurred in production figures, like feed efficiency and growth, as well as reproduction, e.g. litter size.
Maes said, ”We observe not a lot of progress in the decrease of certain animal diseases. In a recent study among more than 200 Belgian, Spanish and Italian pig production sites, the occurrence of pleuritis and pneumonia has proved to be equal to percentages in studies from 20 years ago – about 25%.”

Maes said that the necessary considerable steps ought to have included a decrease of pig transport movements. In addition, risks have increased of infections spreading through either animals or the air.

He continued, ”It is vital for pig farms to invest both in the farm’s internal and external hygiene. Not only it is important that animals are not clinically ill; all bacteria or viruses ought to be removed from the farm.”