There’s no denying that our society spends a lot of time worrying about factors we can’t control. This is no different for pork producers, especially in 2019. With concerns of African swine fever, tariffs, export challenges and more, Carthage System Veterinarian Clayton Johnson, DVM, suggests producers focus on controlling what they can when it comes to risk management in their pork operations.
Biosecurity is one of the greatest ways to mitigate risk. There are three main principles that come into play when it comes to biosecurity on the farm, including hygiene/sanitation, exclusion and segregation, according to Johnson. He believes biosecurity works best when you have redundancy – at least two of those principles in play. Transportation biosecurity is an unavoidable risk at most pig operations, but Johnson offered a few tips to help producers maintain a clean/dirty line and hopefully, keep disease out.
“Pigs don’t respond to our definition of the clean/dirty line. When it comes to loading a trailer, they often enter the trailer, see and feel a new environment, and instantly attempt to run back across the clean/dirty line,” Johnson says. “People have very good intentions on the rules, but the reality is there will be crosscontamination. My goal is to build another redundant barrier to minimize disease introduction from transport trailers coming onto the farm.”
When possible, he advises dedicating a specific trailer to each sow farm so that trailer only moves between one sow farm and its associated finishing site. In addition, a dirty trailer should never back up to a sow farm for any reason. Always thoroughly clean and disinfect trailers before bringing them back onto your farm.
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