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Farm Animal Practice
Biosecurity: reducing disease risks to pig breeding herds
  1. Geoff Pritchard

    Geoff Pritchard graduated from Edinburgh in 1973. He has worked for the Veterinary Laboratories Agency since 1980 and is based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. He holds an FRCVS for studies on the epidemiology of transmissible gastroenteritis in pigs.x

  2. Ian Dennis

    Ian Dennis graduated from Bristol in 1977. After working in mainly cattle practice in Devon for two years, he moved to East Anglia where he is a partner in a mixed practice. He holds the RCVS certificate in pig medicine.

  3. Jake Waddilove

    Jake Waddilove graduated from Cambridge in 1978. He is a principal partner in a practice in Bury St Edmunds where he works almost exclusively with pigs.


DISEASE imposes considerable constraints on the productivity and profitability of the livestock industry. Pig producers have probably suffered more than other sectors from the devastating effects of a succession of infectious disease outbreaks over the past 30 years. Many of these have been highly contagious viral diseases, including transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), swine influenza (SI), Aujeszky's disease (AD), and porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome (PRRS). Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), which is linked to porcine circovirus (PCV-2) infection, has challenged the very survival of the pig industry in Britain and elsewhere. Even long established endemic diseases, such as enzootic pneumonia (EP) and swine dysentery (SD), still cause significant losses if introduced into naive herds. The recent reappearances of classical swine fever (CSF) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Britain were timely reminders that there is no place for complacency in disease prevention programmes at both national and herd level. The concept of biosecurity, which gained prominence in Britain during the FMD epidemic, encompasses the full range of measures aimed at disease prevention. In fact, it is one of the cornerstones of the Government's Animal Health and Welfare Strategy for Great Britain, which aims to promote biosecurity to a livestock industry that, in the past, has not always given it high priority. This article reviews the most important sources of disease on pig units — and, thus, the key areas for consideration in terms of farm biosecurity.

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