Farmscape for June 14, 2012
The Vice President Science and Technology with the National Pork Board recommends stepped-up biosecurity as the best means of protecting swine herds from the risk of brachyspira infection.
Brachyspira is the bacteria that causes swine dysentery.
Symptoms include diarrhea, sometimes bloody diarrhea and chronic weight loss in pigs.
Although the industry appeared on the brink of eradicating brachyspira a few years ago, recently the number of outbreaks has been increasing.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the National Pork Board's Vice President Science and Technology, explains brachyspira can be pretty insidious because it can hide and cause chronic weight loss or chronic poor doing, sometimes without a lot of overt symptoms.
Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-National Pork Board:
It's transmitted though feces so anything that transmits feces from pig to pig can transmit the organism so it can be pig to pig itself.
If you bring a positive pig into a negative herd then that can seed the herd down and it certainly can transmit pig to pig.
Otherwise anything that's done that transmits the organism from one farm to another, boots, trucks, equipment, that type of thing.
Very important, all of the biosecurity things that we've put into the industry that are part of normal industry practices that we talk about today need to be adhered to, need to be practiced because, if you have good biosecurity those types of things will take care of brachyspira as well as they'll take care of other disease issues.
That's where we've had an apparent break down with some transmission, either by vectors, either by fomites, people bringing it in, moving it around or by not cleaning up from moving one group in after another without adequate clean-up.
Dr. Sundberg says the best control for brachyspira is quick diagnosis and adequate medication and that speaks to the animal welfare implications for the pig.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council