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.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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