Pig Biosecurity

This is a kind of “buzz word” but basically it’s about being proactive about protecting your animals’ health, be it pigs or any other type of livestock, by preventing the spread of disease on to your holding.

  • Birds and vermin can spread disease around and between holdings. Use appropriate pest control, keeping the holding clean and tidy, storing feed in secure bins and dealing with spillages promptly will help to deter rats, mice and birds.
  • Kitchen waste must never be fed to any livestock or poultry. It can carry microorganisms harmless to us but devastating to livestock. Examples are Foot and Mouth Disease and Swine Fever
  • Visitors who have been on another holding with pigs within 48 hours should be discouraged; the risk is reduced if they have showered and had a complete change of clothing. Make sure they know never to feed kitchen waste to pigs – don’t assume they know this. A fresh disinfectant boot wash should be kept at the main entrance. Virkon S is good but there are other suitable disinfectants on the market. Dilute it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and dispose of it properly.
  • Delivery vehicles may move from farm to farm, so keep them away from livestock.
  • After moving pigs to shows, market or slaughter, the trailer must be cleaned and disinfected within 24 hours of unloading stock. Wheels, wheel arches and mud flaps must be cleaned and disinfected prior to leaving markets.
  • Fallen stock must be disposed of via an approved knackerman, by incineration or rendering or through the National Fallen Stock Scheme. Afterbirth and stillborn piglets must also be disposed of this way. It is illegal to bury or burn fallen stock because of the risk of spreading disease through groundwater or the air.

Introducing new pigs should be done with care. New pigs should be quarantined for 30 days to allow any infections to become apparent. Separate equipment should be used for quarantined pigs and stockmen should take suitable precautions to avoid any cross-contamination.

Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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