World class biosecurity, E. coli bacteria and African Swine Fever virus – all came together at a recent webinar titled “Pathogens and Prevention”. The webinar was held on February 24 and is now available for viewing on demand for free.
The webinar kicked off with a presentation by Dr Nele Caekebeke, CEO of BioCheck.UGent, which is a spin-off company of Ghent University, Belgium. After all, biosecurity is the cornerstone of any disease control programme, she explained. She zoomed in on the Biocheck.UGent biosecurity tool, which includes a scoring system, which is an efficient tool to quantify the biosecurity level on livestock farms.
Intriguingly, she asked a question to the audience on which type of farm biosecurity would matter most – on small farms, on big farms or that size would not matter. About 92% of the audience voted that the last option would be the right one, but Dr Caekebeke explained that farm size does matter. Higher biosecurity standards are needed for bigger farms, she explained while summing up 5 principles of biosecurity.
She also touched on biosecurity measures to be applied regarding ASF, which formed a nice introduction to the 2nd speaker in the webinar.
African Swine Fever virus came back in the presentation of Daisy Roijackers, manager biosecurity and regulatory affairs at Intracare. Her presentation zoomed in on the question how to make the right choice when do proper cleaning and disinfection.
One of the key take-away points for producers would be to deeply understand pathogens in order to be perfectly aware what truly helps to properly clean and disinfect a pig house. That is why she explained what ASF virus looks like. A 3-step programme to tackle e.g. ASF includes the cleaning and disinfection of drinking water lines, the cleaning of the farm with a detergent (foam) and lastly the disinfection of the farm with a biocide.
The last speaker of the webinar zoomed in on another aspect of “Pathogens and Prevention”, the realm of bacteria. After all, when pathogenic bacteria pressure can be kept under control, lower levels of antibiotics will be needed. Romain D’Inca, product manager swine at the Royal Agrifirm Group, spoke about the fibre-fraction product Vitafibra, a feed additive capable of binding to pathogenic bacteria like E. coli and flushing them out.
Should the small intestine then be colonised less, inflammation goes down and gut health is improved, with as a consequence a better Feed Conversion Ratio and higher growth rates. The effect could also be seen later in the production phased, he added, pointing to a good disinfection. “Step by step, you make productivity better, batch after batch.”