2 May 1997

Pig health change

MOVING towards high health status units could change the pattern of pig disease outbreaks in the next 10 years, says Humberside-based vet Mark White.

He claims many herds have a continual disease presence to which individual pigs develop immunity as they grow. "Many diseases, therefore, do not pose a large threat to the herd because they will only affect those pigs which have not been exposed."

But the current emphasis on eradicating disease from herds, for example by multi-site production, could create herds where there is no disease challenge.

"All pigs in the herd will be vulnerable to any disease," he warns.

The producer of the future will, therefore, have to be more vigilant, spotting disease before it takes hold and vets must be able to isolate the pathogen responsible and respond almost immediately. &#42