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Biosecurity underpins disease control and saves money
IN a world awash with COVID-19, words such as lockdown, quarantine, isolation, testing and tracing are abundant.
from Canada and Norway to prevent the introduc- tion of porcine reproduc- tive and respiratory syn- drome.
rity and AMR mitigation’. It’s worth a look.
The main speaker is
improving biosecurity.
As a consequence, in- ternal biosecurity scores were increased by 18.8 percent and were fol- lowed by an increase in pigs weaned/sow/year – up by 1.1, better growth rates – up by 7.7 grams, and lower post weaning mortality rates – down by
Washing hands, social distancing, sneezing and coughing behaviours and group sizes are terms now well understood in the context of human disease spread.
Currently, the global spread of African swine fever places pressure on producers everywhere to be mindful of the external biosecurity risk of feral pigs, the danger of feeding human food scraps and the hazards of contami- nated pig transport vehi- cles.
Ghent University Pro- fessor Jeroen Dewulf, who developed the UGent Biocheck tool.
In a pig world awash with African swine fever, these same words are rec- ognised in a biosecurity context through many years of avoiding serious diseases.
Over the past few years, Dewulf has been re- searching the impact of biosecurity on disease prevention and output.
0.6 percent.
The numbers are statisti-
Australian pork pro- ducers are conscious of the need for high stand- ards of external biosecu- rity.
Recently, the elements of internal and external biosecurity were featured in a webinar sponsored by EW Nutrition, a Euro- pean company producing a range of animal feed supplements to support gut health, young animal nutrition and toxin risk management.
The cost of maintaining an effective biosecurity program on the pig farms in Dewulf’s experiment was about $A4.68 per sow per year, but the gains in output and reduced treatment costs totalled $A67.02 per sow and $A4.16 per finisher pig – showing again that im- proving biosecurity saves money.
Ross Cutler
The value of external fences, single source supply, controlled en- trances and load out are recognised.
The UGent Biocheck tool enables a value to be placed on the level of biosecurity.
Businesses once free of mycoplasma know the im- pact on their output when that disease finds a way in.
This can be used as a benchmark tool between farms.
Professor Jeroen Dewulf, who developed the UGent Biocheck tool, a free web- based biosecurity measurement tool that has been around since about 2014.
Staff on pig farms live internal biosecurity every day through practised far- rowing house hygiene rou- tines and the spotless all- in all-out weaner houses, common on most farms.
Most people intuitively believe in the concept of biosecurity measures being worthwhile, but Dewulf has produced data from a series of farm in- vestigations in different countries that show the dollar value of increasing biosecurity.
performance, antimicro- bial usage on the farms was reduced by about half.
This is a free web-based biosecurity measurement tool that has been around since about 2014.
cally significant.
As well as improving
At a national level, in the 1990s the pork industry prevailed upon the Com- monwealth to halt the im- portation of frozen semen
The EW webinar can be found at youtube. com/watch?v=_BKuT_ BkEEY&t=1639s or search Youtube under ‘biosecu-
It can also be linked to improvements in output.
2021 Australasian Pig Science Association Conference
Across multiple farms in different countries across Europe, farm managers and staff were coached on
PLANNING for the 2021 Australasian Pig Science Association Conference to be held at the Sofitel Brisbane, Australia from No- vember 15-18, is well underway.
year’s event include:
• Professor Lisa Collins – Smart agri-systems
A vaccine for African swine fever?
Registrations for the biennial conference are now open, with early bird prices ending July 18, and virtual registra- tion is available for inter- national delegates.
•Dr Fan Liu – What have we learnt from cur- rent heat stress research in Australia?
• Dr Chantal Farmer – The neonatal pig, devel- opmental influences on vitality, postnatal growth and the sow
The conference incor- porates a blend of basic and applied research covering every aspect of pig science.
• Ms Tanya Nowland – Impactful research about the intestinal microbiota in pigs
For further information on registration, speakers and program guide, visit or contact
Invited speakers at this
• Dr Nikki Kells – The five domains model and the positive welfare state in pigs
Australian Pork Newspaper, May 2021 – Page 13
that work
• Dr David Renaudeau
• Professor Richard Trethowan – What will we feed our pigs, heat stress impacts and adap- tation on crop production
– Successful pig produc- tion in a humid tropical climate
• Professor Anna Valros – Rearing pigs with intact tails, the Finnish tale
• Dr David Williams –

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