22 August 1997

Buy quality straw

PIG producers must avoid buying dusty or mouldy straw this season.

Independent vet consultant Tony Andrews warns that straw harvested in very dry conditions this year, and straw which lodged, could be dusty or mouldy and cause respiratory disease.

"Sheer amounts of dust in poor quality straw can overwhelm the pigs respiratory defence mechanisms, compromising its ability to expel bugs," he says.

Smaller dust particles can pass down into the lungs taking pathogens with them.

and causing infection, he warns. Damage caused by dust can also expose the lung tissue to attack from pathogens which are already present.