An outbreak of disease in a pig unit can be economically devastating. While the farmer cannot completely prevent disease-causing pathogens entering the pig unit, tight biosecurity plays an important role in the prevention and spread of disease. Biosecurity is a set of practices put in place to limit the spread of disease or contamination from one location to another. By using the basic principles out-lined below and good herd management, disease can be controlled and outbreaks eliminated.

•    Staff Training Biosecurity is only as good as the people putting it into place. Staff members need to understand the reasons behind biosecurity and how and why certain practices are being incorporated. All staff should be issued with appropriate protective clothing and boots and should shower before entering the unit.

•    Traffic Control – vehicles and human. Vehicles entering the unit should be sprayed and drive through a tyre wash containing an appropriate disinfectant. The parking area and loading bay should be separate from the pig unit and as far from where pigs are housed as possible. Visitors should be kept to a minimum and required to sign in a visitors’ book. Anyone entering the unit should carry out the same disinfection procedure as staff.  Visitors, apart from essential personnel such as the vet, should be discouraged.   

•    Physical Barriers – ideally, a pig unit should be fenced with entry only through a controlled gate which can be locked when not manned. Domestic dogs and cats should not be allowed into the area as they carry pathogens which affect pigs. Other livestock should not be kept within a 1 km radius of the piggery.

•    Pest Control - Rats can carry a variety of diseases from one pig farm to another. Mice do not travel much between pig farms but they do perpetuate infections such as salmonella and swine dysentery. Flies can carry infections such as streptococci that cause pig meningitis and can travel up to about 3km between pig herds. (See Fly Control and l Rodent Control)

•    Water, feed and bedding sources  Contaminated water can bring a number of infections such as leptospira and salmonella and must come from a clean, uncontaminated source. If in doubt, it should be chlorinated. Water storage tanks and pipes should also be checked and disinfected when necessary. Feed and constituents must come from reputable sources. Meat and bone meal should not be used. Bedding, if used, should come from a pig-free source and not become contaminated by birds, rats or mice during storage.

•    Incoming pigs Any replacement pigs coming on to the premises should come from known safe sources and should be quarantined, or at least physically separated from the ‘home’ pigs, for at least a month, preferably six weeks. During this time the new stock can be given the necessary vaccinations.

•    Disinfection
Fivet have a disinfection model detailed below

STEP 1. Remove ALL bedding and dung. ENSURE THOROUGH CLEANING!

STEP 2. Pressure wash the area with BIOGEN SUPER at a dilution of 1:300. Use a dilution of 1:200 if the soiling is particularly persistent.Leave for 15-20 minutes.Rinse off. 

STEP 3. Fine spray or foam onto clean surfaces BIOPHARM at a dilution of 1:200 with water and allow to dry

STEP 4. Place footbaths at the entrances to all buildings with a 1:100 dilution of BIOPHARM.Replenish weekly or when necessary.

•    All vehicles entering the farm should be sprayed with a 1:200 solution of BIOTEK ULTRA
•    Where wheel dips (tyre washes) are available regularly ensure that the wheel dips are correctly calibrated. Use BIOPHARM at a dilution of 1:100 to 1:200 for this purpose, dependant on soiling present.
•    Remember to clean all water tanks. Dose with chlorine tablets or Xhematron tablets as recommended.
•    Hand hygiene remains a very important aspect to the total Biosecurity programme. Use AVIWASH and AVISAN to wash and sanitise all staff hands via a soap dispenser.
•    If showers are present on the farm, ensure that ALL staff shower onto the farm before commencement of work. Use SHOWERSAN neat via a soap dispenser.
REF: Extracts from a presentation by Ted Swindon at Fivet Pig and Poultry Expo 2011