Enhanced Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity Reduces Risk of Disease Transmission Throughout All Phases

Farmscape for August 4, 2023

Full Interview 10:50 Listen

The Associate Director of the Swine Health Information Center suggests, by enhancing biosecurity during the wean-to-harvest phase of pork production, the risk of disease transmission will be reduced throughout all phases of production. The second call for research proposals under the 2.3 million dollar Wean-to-Harvest Biosecurity program, an initiative of the Swine Health Information Center, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and Pork Checkoff, has been extended. Swine Health Information Center Associate Director Dr. Megan Niederwerder says the extension will accommodate additional submissions for research priorities not adequately addressed by the original April 30th deadline.

Quote-Dr. Megan Niederwerder-Swine Health Information Center:
We started to look at some of the epidemiological evidence of how diseases were being transmitted from one farm to the next and there were often times lower biosecurity compliance or less biosecurity protocols in those post-weaning phases as compared to the sow or breeding farm phases. So, to really protect the entire industry we really felt the need to enhance the wean to harvest biosecurity in that, if any phase of production became infected it really served as a source or a risk factor for the entire industry. When we looked at how we could reduce disease risk, we started looking at the nursery phase, the grow finish phase and also all the transportation that connects our industry, including the transportation of market hogs to the packing plant and how do we reduce the risk of disease transmission back to the farm when picking up market hogs?

Dr. Niederwerder notes priorities under the extended call include packing plant or other first point of concentration biocontainment, alternatives to traditional truck washes, the use of artificial intelligence or other technologies to monitor and evaluate biosecurity compliance, novel ways to manage mortalities and strategies to overcome barriers to biosecurity adoption and compliance.

Details can be accessed at swinehealth.org.

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