24 May 2002

High health bonus

RESULTS from studies by one of the UKs leading pig vet practices on progeny from 23,000 sows provide compelling evidence that a herds health status before a wasting disease outbreak has a significant influence on mortality.

Showing results from the studies to visitors at the Pig and Poultry Fair, Neville Kingston of Garth Vet Group, Yorks, said mortality from wasting diseases in high health status herds was less than for herds with a lower health status.

"PRRS and enzootic pneumonia-negative farms becoming infected with PMWS had a mortality of 3.4%. Those that had restocked in the past five years, were closed except for AI, but were PRRS and EP positive, mortality was higher at 6.5%; where these units bought in replacements mortality was 9.2%."

Low health status herds, which had not restocked for at least 10 years, accounting for 60% of the UK pig population experienced 11.7% mortality in the study. But where pigs from these herds were weaned off site, average mortality fell to 7.4%, he said. &#42