Better herd health in Canada through automated platforms

01-05-2023 | |
herd health canada
Photo: Ronald Hissink

2 automated biosecurity and disease management systems are now available to pig producers in Canada. The more participating producers, the more effective the system and the better the herd health in Canada.

One system is known as SHARC (Swine Health Area and Regional Control), which was launched recently in the province of Ontario. Operated by Swine Health Ontario, in partnership with Ontario Pork and the Ontario Pork Industry Council, SHARC is based on extensive industry feedback. Is is free for Ontario pork producers.

It’s described as “a collaborative tool to help producers anticipate, avoid or minimise disease risks. It also makes smart, health-based decisions about disease treatment, vaccination, herd movements, manure management and new barn construction.”

Confidential sharing of herd disease status

To participate in SHARC, producers, in conjunction with their herd veterinarian, must agree to confidential sharing of herd disease status with other participating producers. Mapping software allows participating producers to see disease status and hog density around premises in the system and use tools such as radius mapping.

SHARC features

  • Integration of AgManifest movement data to allow health status to follow reported movements;
  • Daily data uploads;

  • Automated notice to users of farm disease status changes;

  • Automated lab result notices sent to veterinarians.

Subscription-based national system

Another automated swine health software platform in Canada is Farm Health Protect (FHP), formerly called ‘Be Seen, Be Safe.’ It is a subscription-based system for all types of livestock farms. The system offers farm visit tracking through an app, GPS beacons on vehicles and farm site geofencing. It has the ability to establish control zones in case of disease outbreak, alert notifications and more. Among other new features, FHP now integrates wind speed and direction in order to put airborne diseases into better context.

In Canada, FHP is already used on over 500 farms, mostly on swine farms in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The company says over half the hog farms in Manitoba use the system.

The cost depends on the number of properties within a group or network of properties, but it can cost as little as $ 15 per month for one farm property using a digital farm visitor logbook.

FHP benefits

  • Reduced cost of production and fewer disease outbreaks through improved farm biosecurity;

  • Easy sharing of digitised farm, truck and visitor data;

  • Quick traffic or movement tracing for any farm or vehicle within the system.

Treena Hein Correspondent