7 March 1997

Pig liver damage hits performance

PRODUCERS notified by their abattoir that pig livers are being condemned due to milk spot liver damage may also be suffering reduced herd performance.

North Humberside vet Mark White says that higher levels of damage are being reported with the increase in straw yard finishing systems. Although at low levels most producers are unaware of liver damage which is caused by migrating worms, if its severe performance will be reduced by 7-8%.

"The adult worm lives in the pigs gut, but the egg passes round the body and through the liver causing damage," says Mr White. "Eggs are passed around in the dung and can last for several years in the environment because routine washing and disinfection wont kill them."

He recommends improving hygiene in yards by cleaning out straw and using caustic soda or a flame thrower to kill the eggs.

Worming sows also helps control the disease.


PIGS: WATCH FOR


&#8226 Infertility and thin sows.

&#8226 Tail and flank biting in growing pigs.

&#8226 Poor piglet growth and diarrhoea.