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Successful swine dysentery eradication

A guide for pig producers and veterinarians

The benefits of swine dysentery eradication

The presence of swine dysentery caused by the spirochaete bacterium, Brachyspira hyodysenteriae has a serious detrimental impact on the productivity and profitability of pig production units.
Brachyspira hyodysenteriae is a primary gut invader that triggers acute and chronic enteric disease resulting in increased mortality, severe diarrhoea and weight loss. Freedom from swine dysentery is highly desirable as it can reduce costs, minimize losses and improve productivity performance. Swine dysentery eradication programmes, when correctly implemented, have been proven to be highly successful, leading to sustained gains in herd health status and farm profitability. These gains deliver producers a substantial return on investment (ROI) when evaluated against the total costs of implementing the eradication programme. This ROI analysis considers not just the medication costs but it also takes account of the cost of lost (or reduced) production as well as increased labour and the requisite improvements to farm buildings, equipment and bio-security systems. These related costs substantially exceed the simple cost of treatment. So, not only do producers benefit from sustained productivity improvement but they also profit from an upgraded farm facility. Swine dysentery is a disease amenable to eradication by intensive medication combined with hygiene and bio-security measures. This swine dysentery eradication guide is a testament to Novartis Animal Healths continued commitment to helping swine producers and vets, worldwide, to improve herd health status and profit performance.

Plan carefully before committing to a programme

The first step is to thoroughly assess the finance and logistics of starting a swine dysentery eradication programme. Key questions need to be asked and answered affirmatively to ensure the investment is money well spent.

Is complete eradication a realistic objective?

Where are the nearest pig farms to mine? Do they represent a risk to my farm if I eradicate swine dysentery?

Swine Dysentery Eradication Plan Checklist:

Do not consider an eradication programme unless all the following criteria are met: Clinical diagnosis of swine dysentery is confirmed by demonstration of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae (culture). The farm is situated a safe distance from the biological threat proffered by neighbouring pig farms infected with swine dysentery Adequate funds are secured to cover the full programme costs and the business cash flow requirements A comprehensive bio-security and hygiene programme can be established to avoid re-introduction of infection (eg. via vehicle traffic, farm visitors, disease vectors) The farm buildings including slurry systems, roofing, flooring and ventilation systems are able to be repaired and returned to good working order A supply of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae free replacement stock is available for the future All farm personnel are fully committed to the programme

Can the eradication programme be funded without placing undue pressure on the business?
In addition to assessing the impact of incremental costs (such as extra labour, repairs, cleaning, equipment and medicines) any financial analysis must also make adjustments for the significant reduction in income that will result from the temporary loss of market pigs If total depopulation is proposed a source of clean pigs must be identified and secured to re-populate the farm Finally, the timing of the programme should be planned to optimise the pig flow and minimize losses due to lack of market pigs

Is the eradication programme practical? Can it be applied to my pig farm under the given circumstances?
A farm-specific programme is required which is practical, reliable and can be successfully applied to any pig farm under a variety of circumstances and management systems A number of seasonal and market conditions such as weather conditions and peaks and troughs in pork prices should be assessed before deciding when to initiate the programme.

Ensuring the farm is fit for eradication

A plan of attack is needed - the entire farm site and adjacent farm sites should be surveyed before embarking on the eradication programme. A farm map should be produced noting the location of all buildings, roads, boundaries, feed stores, pig disposal areas and other items such as lagoons and neighbouring buildings (possibly housing rodents or other animals).
Record the routes taken by feed trucks and other delivery vehicles and devise new clean routes and boundaries Lagoons, holding tanks and canals that contain slurry should be emptied before eradication is started Weekly task check-lists, with staff and team requirements for each task, need to be compiled A detailed list of, and budget for, required repairs, maintenance and replacement work should be made Cost, and availability, of all new equipment and supplies required to upgrade the farm should be reviewed Place a large rubbish skip capable of gathering old and replaced debris from around the farm in an area away from the pigs and near the farm boundary. Moth-ball the existing pig disposal unit and prepare a new, clean one Pig producers often choose a partial depopulation method to eradicate swine dysentery. This method requires depopulation of weaners, growers and finisher premises. If its not possible to remove pigs post weaning internal boundary lines between clean and dirty areas of the farm have to be established, with proper gates and doors stationed along the boundary.

Eradication options and pig treatment

Producers have a choice of two different methods of eradication

1) Total depopulation and restocking

This will have a major impact on supply of market pigs - even if the replacement sows are pregnant, there will still be a minimum of 20 weeks without finished pigs for sale. For this method, the entire site, including all slurry systems, will need to be cleaned, disinfected and completely dried before the introduction of new clean pigs.

2) Partial depopulation and medical eradication

This is often preferred because it is less financially punitive. This method significantly reduces loss of market pigs for sale, and removes the cost of restocking altogether. The most reliable results are achieved when all pigs under 10 months of age are removed from the farm. All remaining pigs receive a suitable treatment programme to rid them of any lingering Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. Extensive experience shows that Denagard is the drug of choice which, coupled with cleaning and disinfection, can eradicate swine dysentery in more than 90% of farms at the first attempt.

Office Car Park

Medication Storage

Boar Shed

Boar Shed


Dead Pig Chiller

Farro win Hous g e

Dry Sow

Dry Sow

wing Farro se Hou

Gas AI Storage Emergency Evacuation Point

Dry Sow

Farro win Hous g e

Boar Shed

Boar Shed

wing Farro se Hou

Dry Sow

Effluent Ponds

Model for partial depopulation and treatment eradication Pre-planning

There must be a 15 day gap in mating some 100 days before week 1 of the programme. This is designed to achieve a corresponding cessation of farrowing during weeks 4-6 of the eradication programme. This is the period when the depopulated area is being cleaned and the pigs transferred.

Weeks 1-4: Preparation

remove all pigs from 7kg to 100kg from the farm weaner, grower and finisher facilities are emptied, cleaned and disinfected in exceptional cases when post-weaning pigs cannot be removed, place secure barriers between clean and dirty areas of the farm confine pigs to secure dirty area of the farm carefully select and cull pigs to enhance the future farm breeding programme cull or remove all pigs with any sign of diarrhoea or other disease minimize exposure to faeces by practicing good pen hygiene clean, disinfectant and dry non-populated area of the farm do not introduce new animals

Weeks 4-8: Transfer

Denagard medication of breeding animals, lactating sows, suckling piglets according to Novartis programme during the period of medication intensive cleaning and disinfection of premises in the medicated areas of the farm is necessary inject Denagard, wash, and footbath pigs during transfer to clean area clean, disinfect, and dry the original dirty area now depopulated do not introduce new animals

Weeks 8-12: Production normalisation

whole farm site now clean, populated, and working keep pigs on Denagard treatment for a further 4 weeks as insurance against any re-infection

Medication protocols
What is the best Denagard dose for your farm?
The principle of eradication is the removal of 100% of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae from 100% of pigs remaining on the farm. Denagard dosage and treatment duration can vary, depending on the farm conditions and results of susceptibility tests.

Example of Denagard standard medication programme (eradication)

Application Breeding animals oral Dosage 6-8 mg thf */ kg bw, 14 21 days Half the dose for longer periods (depending on specific farm conditions) Suckling animals parenteral 10 mg thf */ kg bw, 3 4 times during treatment period of breeding animals

* thf tiamulin hydrogen fumarate (Denagard)

Clean, disinfect, and adopt new clean practices

Brachyspira hyodysenteriae has the ability to stay around in the environment of pig farms, in faecal materials, slurry systems and non farm animals (particularly rodents, pets and birds). It is therefore critical for the success of an eradication programme to remove, or at the very least neutralize, these problems. Brachyspira survival times
Pigs Water Faeces Mice Rats Dogs Birds Flies Frozen faeces 90-120 days 61 days at 5 C 7 days at 25 C 6-18 months 2 days 13 days 8 hours 4 hours 2 years Wash all surfaces, inside and outside the pig sheds, with soapy detergent to ensure removal of all organic matter Clean and disinfect tools, footwear and other vehicles Dry the washed surfaces completely Disinfect the farm site with appropriate disinfectants

Essential bio-security measures:

Consult a rodent expert Attempt rodent removal with attacks on their burrows, run-ways and feed stores Place Denagard medicated baits around the farm and farm perimeter to purge Brachyspira from any remaining rodents after rodent reduction Establish a fly control programme Keep cats and dogs out of the farm Remove chickens and ducks from the farm

Cleaning and disinfection checklist:

Remove all bedding materials, such as straw, during the eradication Remove garbage from inside and outside the premises Empty, clean, disinfect and dry holding tanks and slurry canals Shift, clean and disinfect slats, slurry gates and other heavy parts of the slurry system

Monitor success and remain vigilant to disease threats

After considerable time, and expense, the farm is free from swine dysentery.
There is no effective vaccination for swine dysentery, so it is important to remain vigilant for emerging clinical signs so appropriate treatments can be rapidly used.

Maintaining Brachyspira hyodysenteriae-free status

To ensure the farm remains free from Brachyspira hyodysenteriae it is essential to: lock gates at the farm entrance with appropriate signage to prevent uninvited farm visitors. While lots of people will want to see the new farm - don't let them! evaluate the growth rates and new financial returns on investment by comparing the productivity parameters, veterinary costs and mortality with preeradication data rapidly assess any pig with possible clinical signs of swine dysentery so effective measures can be taken to protect the herd if practical, regularly monitor the herd by sending faecal samples to the laboratory for culture buy only pigs from farms which are free from Brachyspira hyodysenteriae

This eradication guide has been reviewed and accepted by The Denagard Advisory Board. Eradication is not guaranteed, but has been achieved on many sites around the world when these guidelines have been strictly adhered to. Novartis Animal Health is fully committed to helping pig producers to enhance the health status, and productivity, of their herds.

Novartis Animal Health Inc., PO Box CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland. Tel: +41 61 697 57 35 Fax: +41 61 697 67 88