FarmCareGB

Introduction to Pig Biosecurity

Pigs FeedingChanging disease patterns have highlighted the need for farmers to consider all aspects of pig production and management. This has resulted in more emphasis on all-in all-out and segregated rearing systems.

These systems have produced significant increases in productivity, with units reporting gains in excess of 30%. Close attention to biosecurity has become vital for all types of pig farmers due to the new patterns of disease. In continuous production systems it is essential to use good disinfection programs in every department to control disease. In segregated rearing systems the need for biosecurity is even greater as the risks as well as the benefits in these systems are increased. Segregated rearing systems will only work if the stock enjoys total biosecurity. This applies both to the housing and transport.

Remember that disease challenges arise from three main vectors:

  • Mobile vectors such as people
  • Static vectors - the surfaces of the buildings where the stock is housed
  • Nutritional vectors through contaminated feed and water

All three possible routes of infection must be considered to achieve an effective biosecurity system.

Pig Biosecurity

Many understand Biosecurity to be the prevention of the entrance of infection into a pig farm. This is of course vial but complete biosecurity also includes controlling the spread of disease within the farm. Certain changes in the epidemiology of some  pig diseases have highlighted this fact.

In the past the main concern was with mycoplasmal and bacterial diseases, many of which were treated by antibiotics. There were some viral diseases of concern but they tended to be discrete entities.

The appearance of PRRS and Swine Influenza has some what changed disease patterns. These diseases are immunosupressing and a high morbidity which quickly allows other pathogens to gain hold. The primary role of viruses in the disease pattern of units today has resulted in the use of medication to control disease becoming less effective.

To break the modern cycle of disease it is necessary to combine modern management systems with a high level of Biosecurity. Most modern systems are based around all-in-all-out systems either in respect of individual buildings or complete farms. It is necessary to prevent spread of infection between batches of pigs or the system will fail.

Disinfection programs play an important part in this process. Terminal disinfection, at the end of a batch is vital to control static vectors, while continuous disinfection is useful to control mobile vectors.

Terminal Disinfection depends on complete removal of all animals from the building or site. It is important to allow adequate time for the completion of the whole program. For details of terminal and continuous disinfection procedures refer to the detailed programs in this section of the site.

Pig Terminal Biosecurity Program

Pigs dreaming of  flyingThis program is to be used at the end of each batch following the removal of pigs. It is to prevent the ‘carry-over’ of pathogenic organisms from one batch to the next ensuring that each new batch gets a completely clean start.

The Program can involve a single room, a building or the whole site. It can also be used in continuous production farms, either by moving animals around to create space or by using a production break.

Stage One - Removal of Equipment and Dry Cleaning

Remove all gross organic soiling. Dung and refuse contain high levels of contamination and are a major source of infection. High levels of soiling will also reduce the efficacy of the cleaning and disinfection process.

  • Remove pigs.
  • Remove feed hoppers, pen separators, tools and all other easily moved equipment.
  • Remove all dung, bedding and unused feed, ensuring the area is as clean as possible. Drain slurry, if practicable. Preferably vacuum dust from edges.
  • Dispose of all dung and bedding as far away from the buildings as possible, ideally away from the site.

Stage Two - Pre-cleaning and Sanitizing

The levels of infective material will remain high following any dry cleaning process. Washing of the surfaces with a detergent sanitiser is essential before disinfection to remove residual organic soiling including grease and further reduce the load of organisms.

  • Use Farm Care Quat-Gard at dilution 1:500  to clean the surfaces
  • Apply with a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer. The pressure washer should be set on a low pressure setting (500psi - 35bars) using a 45 degrees jet angle. Apply at a rate of 1 litre of solution per square metre of surface area.
  • Leave on for 20-30 minutes.
  • Pressure wash clean, starting as high as possible and working down to the floor. Pay special attention to corners, cracks and any other areas where dirt accumulates. If necessary scrub off any caked soiling.
  • Allow the surfaces to dry before disinfection.

Stage Three - Sanitizing the Water System

All water systems contain an element of bacterial or viral contamination, especially in header tanks but also in pipelines and drinkers. Such contamination may cause disease to be transmitted from on batch of pigs to the next. Sanitation of the water system will help prevent this.

Drainable Systems

  • UseViru-Gardat a dilution of 1kg per 200 litres (0.5% dilution)
  • Isolate header tank at the mains and drain off from drinker points farthest from the tank.
  • Clean out gross soiling from the tanks
  • Refill with water, add Viru-Gard and leave for 10 minutes
  • Flush through to drain off all points and leave for 30 minutes
  • Refill with fresh water

Non-drainable systems

  • Non-drainable systems and those with poor water quality
  • Use Viru-Gard at a dilution of 1kg per 1000 litres (0.1%)
  • Isolate header tank at mains
  • Add Viru-Gard to the header tank
  • Allow all water to be consumed until the system is empty
  • Remove any sludge from the header tank and clean drinkers out
  • Refill with water and add Viru-Gard.

NB Following sanitisation of water systems, dislodged debris may block drinkers - check these carefully

At a dilution level of 0.1%Viru-Gardcan safely be used in the drinking water for pigs

Stage Four - Moveable Equipment

Equipment moved out of the house before dry cleaning may be heavily contaminated and if not thoroughly cleaned may carry disease back into the next batch of pigs.

  • Clean off all gross debris
  • Soak or spray with a solution of Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500.  Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  • Pressure wash clean, paying special attention of inaccessible areas - such as feed hoppers - and caked on debris.
  • Move equipment to a clean area and allow to dry.
  • Disinfect equipment using Viru-Gardat a dilution of 1:200 (0.5%).

Stage Five Disinfection

The level of disease organisms, especially viruses, present even after washing with a detergent sanitiser, can still be high enough to offer a significant challenge to the next batch of pigs. To control this it is necessary to use a broad spectrum disinfectant active against viruses, bacteria, fungi and other pathogenic organisms.

It is important to ensure that all surfaces are thoroughly wet with disinfectant to break the chain of infection.

Use Farm-Gard at a dilution of 1:200 (0.5%) on pre-cleaned surfaces or where the disease challenge is low. At a dilution of 1:100 (1%) on porous surfaces or where there is a known disease challenge.

  • Apply the solution at the appropriate dilution rate at 300mls per square metre  of surface area.
  • Use a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer set at 500psi (35bars) with a 45 degree angle jet.
  • Work down from the roof to the walls and floor thoroughly wetting all surfaces.
  • Pay special attention to corners, cracks and seams. Treat porous surfaces such as wood and concrete particularly carefully.
  • Allow to dry before restocking and replacement of disinfected equipment

Stage Six - Fogging and Aerial Disinfection

Once the house has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, return all moveable equipment and lay new bedding if appropriate. The house may then be fogged to control any infection which may have been brought in with these items and to disinfect inaccessible areas which may have been missed previously.

  • Spray Viru-Gard at 1:100 (1%) into the eaves and any other inaccessible areas using a very fine mist from a pressure washer or using a mechanical fogger. Use at a rate of 1 litre of solution per 100 cubic metres.
  • Then fog the rest of the house thoroughly using the same solution
  • The house may then be refilled immediately.

N.B. Using Viru-Gardas a fogging agent is much safer for operatives and pigs than using gluteraldehyde or formaldehyde based products.

 

Continuous Biosecurity Program for Pig Farms

The aim of a Continuous Biosecurity Program is to prevent the access of infection into a farm and to prevent the spread of infection within the farm.

SiteSecurity

Access Control

PigsControl access of visitors, vehicles and non-stock animals to the farm. Visitors and staff should change into farm overalls and boots. Place footdips at the farm entrance, the entrance to each building and each room where applicable and also by the loading bay. Fill with a solution of Farm Care GB Farm-Gard at a dilution rate of 1:100 (1%), and replenish weekly or when heavily soiled. Always clean boots before dipping with a brush. All vehicles entering the site should pass through a wheeldip filled with a solution of Farm-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:100 (1%), and be replenished weekly or when heavily soiled. Wheels should be cleaned before dipping.

LoadingBays

Loading bays should be washed down after use and disinfected with Farm-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:200 (0.5%).

Paths and Roadways

Disinfect paths, roadways and areas around houses, and keep these clear of dung and refuse to reduce the potential spread of infection. Spray regularly with Farm-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:100 (1%), at a rate of 300ml per m2.

Equipment

Move equipment around the unit as little as possible. Routinely pressure wash and disinfect, using Farm-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:200 (0.5%), or Viru-Gard at a dilution rate of 1:200 (0.5%).

Personal Hygiene

Hands should be washed and sanitised between houses or rooms. This is particularly important after treating diseased pigs, which should, where possible, be visited last. Contaminated clothing should be changed between departments - particularly important in farrowing.

Isolation Policy

Maintain isolation premises for incoming pigs, and use a footdip when entering and leaving. Use different overalls and boots when dealing with these pigs. Adopt a full Terminal Biosecurity Program between each batch.

Water Sanitising

Poor quality and contaminated water supplies lead to reduced performance and can spread disease. If the quality is poor, sanitise continuously using Farm Care Viru-Gardat a dilution rate of 1:1000 (0.1%). In the event of serious disease outbreak, prevent spread via the water system by dosing with Viru-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:400 (0.25%), for the duration of the outbreak.

Aerial Disinfection

Spraying a fine mist or fog over the animals can reduce the risk of cross infection during outbreaks of respiratory or other diseases. This is particularly useful in weaners, growers and finishers. It can also reduce the risk of spread if the disease affects other farms in the area.

Using a mechanical or plumbed-in fogging system or a pressure washer delivering a very fine mist, apply a fine fog of Viru-Gardtwo to four times daily. Use a dilution rate of 1:200 (0.5%) solution at a rate of 1 litre per 100 cubic metres of airspace.

Sow Washing

Wash sows on entry into the farrowing house using Viru-Gard, at a dilution rate of 1:200 (0.5%). This is to minimise the transfer of infection from the skin of the sow to the new-born piglet.

Breeding & Farrowing Units

Piglets, but where's winnie the poohThe breeding unit is at the top of every production chain. It is essential to keep diseases from entering these units as they will be passed right down the chain.

All buildings should be emptied on a regular basis, then cleaned and disinfected. Farrowing areas in particular should be treated before new stock is brought in.

Remove equipment and all bedding material and dung. Wash all surfaces with a detergent washing sanitiser such as Farm Care Quat-Gard, which will speed up the cleaning process by up to 60%. Start at the top of the building and work downwards.

Sanitise the water system with Viru-Gard, since all water systems and especially the header tank will become contaminated with dust and dirt.

Clean movable equipment outside the house. Either soak and scrub, or pressure wash with a solution of Quat-Gard.

Disinfection is essential to reduce the risk of diseases. In piglets the major conditions are E.coli, Clostridial Enteritis, TGE, Salmonella and Joint ill. When scouring occurs in a litter, clean and disinfect the soiled area with a 1:100 (1%) solution of Viru-Gard as frequently as possible. Viru-Gard is safe to use in the presence of stock.

In sows and boars diseases affecting reproduction include PRRS, Swine Influenza, Aujeszky’s Disease, Porcine Parvovirus and Endometritis . The other category of important diseases are those which affect pigs later in production, and which can be passed on from the sow, such as Swine Dysentery, Enzootic Pneumonia, Atrophic Rhinitis and Streptococcal Meningitis.

Apply a fine mist of Viru-Gard over the new bedding to destroy any disease organisms which may have been brought into the building. Regular repeat applications will help to prevent cross infection once the pigs are in the building.

It is essential to keep infection away from the animals. Foot dips should be provided at the entrance to all buildings.

Hand hygiene routines should be followed by all staff. If the water supply is poor quality, dose it continuously with Viru-Gard. Maintain an effective rodent control program.

Grower and Finisher Units

This is the area where experience has shown that the potential benefits can be the greatest, yet adequate disinfection is rarely achieved.

Long term antigenic stimulation, typically seen in uncleaned finisher buildings, has a major impact on growth rates and carcass quality. In practice, farms which institute a thorough disinfection program have consistently achieved improvements in growth rates of at least 50 grams per day.

Before each new batch of pigs is introduced, the building must be cleaned and disinfected to remove the disease organisms left by the previous batch. The animals will have lost their maternal immunity long ago, so every disease challenge threatens not just their health but their rates of growth and feed conversion.

Remove equipment and all bedding material and dung. Wash all surfaces with a detergent sanitiser such as Quat-Gard, which will speed up the cleaning process. Start at the top of the building and work downwards.

Sanitise the water system with Viru-Gard, since all water systems and especially the header tank will become contaminated with dust and dirt.

Clean movable equipment outside the house. Either soak and scrub, or pressure wash with a solution of Quat-Gard.

Disinfection is essential to reduce the risk of enteric and respiratory diseases such as PRRS, Swine Influenza, Mycoplasma Pneumonia, Actinobacillus Pleuropneumonia, Streptococcal infections and on the enteric side Swine Dysentery and Ileitis.

Treat all surfaces with a solution Viru-Gard or Farm-Gard to destroy the full range of viruses and bacteria.

Apply a fine mist of Viru-Gard over the new bedding to destroy any disease organisms which may have been brought into the building. Regular repeat applications will help to prevent cross infection once the pigs are in the building.

It is essential to keep infection away from the animals. Pens and passageways must be kept as clean as possible and dunging areas cleaned and disinfected with Viru-Gard or Farm-Gard every day.

Aerial disinfection can be a significant help in minimising disease levels, particularly respiratory disease and in preventing the entry of airborne infection from neighbouring houses or farms.

Footdips should be provided at the entrance to all buildings. Use Farm-Gard at a dilution of 1:100 and replenish weekly.

Hand hygiene routines should be followed by all staff.

If the water supply is poor quality, dose it continuously with Viru-Gard. Interrupt the dose when you're giving medication through the drinking water.

Use an effective rodent control system.

 

Nursery or Weaner Units

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A PoliticianThe major diseases in this area include E.coli scours, salmonellosis, post weaning respiratory complex, Atrophic Rhinitis and Streptococcal infections.

Before each new batch of piglets is introduced, the building must be cleaned and disinfected to remove the disease organisms left by the previous batch. Weaning causes stress, which reduces the animals’ ability to resist disease, which is already on the decline through the loss of maternal immunity.

Remove equipment and all bedding material and dung. Wash all surfaces with a Washing detergent sanitiser such as Quat-Gard, which will speed up the cleaning process by up to 60%. Start at the top of the building and work downwards.

Sanitise the water system with Viru-Gard, since all water systems and especially the header tank will become contaminated with dust and dirt.

Clean movable equipment outside the house. Either soak and scrub, or pressure wash with a solution of Quat-Gard.

Disinfection is essential to reduce the risk of disease. Treat all surfaces with a solution of Viru-Gard or Farm-Gardto destroy the full range of viruses and bacteria.

Apply a fine mist of Viru-Gardover the new bedding to destroy any disease organisms which may have been brought into the building. Regular repeat applications will help to prevent cross infection once the pigs are in the building.

It is essential to keep infection away from the animals. Pens and passageways must be kept as clean as possible and dunging areas cleaned and disinfected with Viru-Gard or Farm-Gard every day.

Footdips should be provided at the entrance to all buildings. Use Farm-Gard at a 1:100 dilution and replenish weekly.

Hand hygiene routines should be followed by all staff.

If the water supply is poor quality, dose it continuously with Viru-Gard. Interrupt the dose when you're giving medication through the drinking water.

Maintain an effective rodent control system.

Aerial Disinfection

Aerial disinfection is an important part of the Biosecurity Program on any pig farm. It can play a major part to in preventing or controlling disease. Essentially it is the process of disinfecting suspended particles in the air for a period of time.

There are two main reasons for the procedure:

A.  As part of a terminal disinfection program between batches or when depopulating all or part of a farm. In this case it is usually done after the main disinfection is completed, and after moveable items and bedding have been returned. It is:

  • To control any contamination that might have been re-introduced with articles moved into the house
  • To disinfect areas that are inaccessible to normal procedures, either by virtue of their position or proximity to electrical supply
  • To help reduce any dust etc. that has been created while setting up the house.

This is part of the complete program and does not replace the normal disinfection in that program.

B. While the building is still populated with pigs. The main reasons for doing it are:

  • To reduce the airborne spread of pathogens and other micro-organisms.
  • To reduce levels of dust.
  • To reduce the levels of airborne challenge to the pigs by endotoxins (toxins produced by certain bacteria which can be carried on dust and have significant effects on productivity and disease).

In this role aerial disinfection can be carried out daily or even more frequently, and can be highly effective.

A relevant publication on the benefits of aerial disinfection while pigs are in the building can be can be found in a keynote paper at IPVS 1998 by Poul Baekbo (Proc. IPVS 1998, 1, 135).

There are 4 main ways of suspending disinfectant particles in the air of a pig building.

  • By spraying - using a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer. This produces relatively large particles, which have a higher wetting capacity, but stay in the air for less time.
  • By misting - also known as cold fogging. This is done by using a mechanical mister. This produces smaller particles that have increased penetration and uniformity.
  • By fumigation - the combination of two or more chemicals producing a vaporised form of the disinfectant. This is really only used with Formaldehyde and related products which are not suitable for use in the presence of animals or staff.
  • By thermal fogging - similar to misting but involving heating of the disinfectant to produce a fine vapour. The small particle gives the best penetration and suspension.
  • Spraying is ideal for small rooms or buildings, perhaps especially where dust is more of a problem. It can be done in the presence of pigs.
  • Misting is better for larger buildings and tall buildings. The lower particle size means the disinfectant is suspended for longer. Again it is safe for use while pigs are in the building.
  • Fumigation can only be used on an empty building. It provides good penetration of disinfectant for a lower price. The major disadvantage is the significant health hazard of the products used. (e.g. Formaldehyde).
  • Thermal fogging is ideal for very large houses or moving around larger operations. The level of disinfection spread is good, but the noise of the machine can be disturbing to pigs. This method is commonly used in the poultry industry

Whichever method is used (except fumigation) in terms of efficacy, safety and ease of use the disinfectant product of choice is Viru-Gard. The Viru-Gard formulation has proven high levels of activity against a wide range of common pig pathogens. It is safe in use for both operators and pigs. As a result it can be used in terminal disinfection programs or while pigs are still in the buildings.

Pig Transport Biosecurity Program

Introduction

The importance of biosecurity for all vehicles associated with pig production cannot be stressed enough. This applies especially to livestock and feed vehicles, but also to any others visiting pig premises.

Livestock haulage and other vehicles, such as feed lorries, provide an excellent vector through which disease can spread.

Cleaning and disinfection must be carried out to minimise the possibility of transmission of disease such as these.

FarmCareGB's Transport Biosecurity program provides pig farmers and hauliers with step-by-step procedures to follow which if adhered to can help reduce disease transmission via transportation of livestock:

Vehicle Disinfection Summary

In addition to livestock haulage vehicles all vehicles e.g. feed lorries and contractors must follow this summary to reduce the potential for transmission of disease.

  • Only essential vehicles may enter the site.
  • All vehicles visiting the unit should be kept outside the biosecurity perimeter if at all possible.
  • Vehicles should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using the Vehicle Biosecurity Program prior to arrival at the unit.
  • Wheels, tyres and wheel arches should be cleaned and disinfected upon arrival at the unit using wheel dips or sprays where provided.
  • Personnel should use footdips, protective clothing and the Hand Hygiene prior to entry to premises

Vehicle Cleansing and Disinfection Procedures

  • Before undertaking the following biosecurity program please ensure that the person carrying out the procedure is wearing clean and disinfected protective clothing.

Stage 1 - Dry Cleaning - Removing Organic Soiling

It is essential to remove all gross organic soiling from the vehicle as dung and refuse contain high levels of contamination and are a major source of infection. Using brushes, shovels, forks or a mechanical scraper ensure the following area's are covered:

Inside the Transporter

  • Starting on the top deck then working down, first scrape out all soiled bedding and refuse, then brush the floors, side-walls and division gates of the trailer ensuring that any organic material is removed from the feed and water delivery pipes.
  • Ensure that any gross organic material is removed from the tail lift/ramp and gates of the truck by scraping and brushing.

Outside the Transporter

  • Particular attention must be paid to the removal of organic material from the underside of the vehicle where deposits can build up. Using a stiff hand brush (or pressure washer where necessary), ensure that any deposits of mud, straw etc are removed from the wheels, wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and exposed chassis of the vehicle.

All soiled bedding and refuse should be disposed of in accordance with Local Authority or Governmental guidelines.

Stage 2 - Cleaning & Sanitising

Following the removal of the soiled bedding and refuse, high levels of infective material will still remain. Cleaning with Quat-Gard at a dilution of 1:500 for spraying or 1:250 for foaming will ensure that greasy deposits do not remain on any surfaces.

Apply with either a knapsack sprayer or pressure washer using the appropriate application rate (500ml/sq.m for normal application 250ml/sq.m for foam application). If using a pressure washer, ensure that it is set on a low pressure setting (approx. 500 psi or 35 bar) using a 45º angle jet.

  • Using the brush attachment for the pressure washer, start at the top and work down each side of the cab and trailer working the detergent solution into the surfaces and any orifices.
  • Using the lance attachment at low pressure apply the detergent solution to the wheels, wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and underside of the vehicle.
  • Inside the trailer, starting on the top deck and working down to the bottom, ensure that the ceiling, sides, divisions and floors are all treated thoroughly.
  • Attention must be paid to the loading ramp and tail lift and gates.
  • Ensure that all equipment stored in the belly box of the vehicle such as shovel, brush, pig board etc are removed and washed then apply the detergent solution to the inside of the belly box.
  • Allow at least 10 minutes for the detergent to penetrate and loosen the dirt from all surfaces before rinsing at high pressure.

It is essential to have removed all organic material before proceeding to the disinfection stage.

Stage 3 - Disinfection

The level of disease organisms, particularly viruses, present after cleaning and sanitizing is still high enough to offer a serious disease challenge. The use of a broad spectrum disinfectant such as Viru-Gard, active against viruses, bacteria, yeasts, moulds and other pathogenic organisms is essential to complete this effective disease control program.

Using a Viru-Gardsolution at a dilution of 1:100 (1KG in each 100 litres) and rate of 300 ml/sq.m at low pressure: -

  • Outside of vehicle, start at the top and work down each side.
  • Ensure that special attention is paid to the wheel arches, tyres, mudguards and underside of the vehicle.
  • Inside the vehicle, starting on the top deck and working down to the bottom, ensure that ceiling, sides, divisions and floors are disinfected thoroughly.
  • Attention must be paid to the loading ramp and tail gate lift.
  • Ensure that all washed equipment from the belly box of the vehicle such as shovel, brush, pig board etc is sprayed or soaked in Viru-Gard solution.
  • Disinfect all internal surfaces of the belly box before returning disinfected equipment.

In very rare instances, Viru-Gard may affect untreated metals and inferior or damaged galvanised metals. In these cases we recommend rinsing these areas with clean water after disinfection ensuring a contact time of at least 5 minutes.

Stage 4 - Cleansing and Disinfecting The Cab

  • Remove all removable items from the cab of the vehicle including the floor mats; clothing, Wellington boots etc, and then using a dustpan and brush remove any debris from within the cab and dispose of it into a refuse sack. Ensure that the foot pedals are free from any organic material.
  • Using a soft hand brush and a bucket of Quat-Gard at a dilution rate of 1:500 clean the cab floor, floor mats and foot pedals allowing at least 10 minutes for the detergent to penetrate and loosen the dirt before rinsing.
  • Using a clean cloth soaked in a solution of Viru-Gardat a dilution rate of 1:100 disinfect the cab floor, floor mats and foot pedals.
  • Ensure that all item packed back into the cab are clean.

Finally

  • Park the vehicle on a slope to drain and dry.
  • Once the vehicle is removed from the wash area, wash down the concrete surface with Quat-Gardsolution making sure no muck or debris remains.
  • Wash and disinfect waterproof overalls and boots.
  • For environmental awareness take care to avoid any solutions entering surface water drains or water courses.