Role of a veterinarian

In every segment of animal agriculture, disease prevention continuously poses challenges; new diseases occasionally appear that are not easily understood. These diseases not only threaten the animal’s well-being and ability to grow but can also sometimes threaten the safety of the food supply. For these reasons, we are continuously focused on how to mitigate the introduction of disease into the herd.

There have been significant advancements in how animals are sheltered and cared for, disease prevention, food safety and the adoption of more sustainable pig farming practices. Biosecurity is one of the most important management tools to prevent disease transmission and expression.

Today’s pig farming facilities have strict biosecurity practices to help ensure that diseases are not accidentally introduced to animals. Because most pigs raised for food today are housed in barns instead of outdoors, facility workers can carefully manage barn biosecurity to help keep out disease-causing pathogens.Farmers can require workers and visitors to sign in and out, state when they last visited another farm, wear special boots and coveralls, and even shower before entering and upon exiting. These biosecurity protocols lead to healthier pigs and a safer food supply.

Preventing disease

In every segment of animal agriculture, disease prevention continuously poses challenges; new diseases occasionally appear that are not easily understood. These diseases not only threaten the ability of animals to grow but also they threaten the comfort of the animal and, sometimes, the safety of the food supply. For these reasons, we are continuously focused on how to mitigate the introduction of disease into the herd.

There have been significant advancements in how animals are sheltered and cared for, disease prevention, food safety and the adoption of more sustainable pig farming practices. Today’s pig farming facilities have strict biosecurity practices to help ensure that diseases are not accidentally introduced to animals. Because most pigs raised for food today are housed in barns instead of outdoors, facility workers can carefully manage barn biosecurity to help keep out disease-causing pathogens.

The use of outdoor facilities makes it more difficult to manage disease-causing pathogens. With indoor facilities, farmers can require workers and visitors to sign in and out, state when they last visited another farm, wear special boots and coveralls, and even shower before entering and upon exiting. These security protocols lead to healthier pigs and a safer food supply.

Biosecurity is one of the most important management tools to prevent disease transmission and expression.

Training and certification

PQA Plus®

At the national and state levels, pig farmers adopt the 10 Good Production Practices (GPP) that are the foundation of the PQA Plus® program. They serve as guidelines for safe and responsible use of animal health products and for continually and objectively evaluating and improving animal care. The program also addresses the farmer’s role in protecting swine and public health, workplace safety, and environmental stewardship. Farmers and farm personnel earn certification in PQA Plus based on their knowledge of the GPPs. Farmers work with their PQA Plus Advisor to measure and benchmark how the GPPs have been implemented on the farm by completing an on-farm site assessment. The site assessment serves as another educational opportunity as it can help identify areas for continuous improvement.

TQA®

The TQA program has built a culture of protecting and promoting animal well-being through the training and certification of animal handlers and transport personnel. As transporters are responsible for the safety and well-being of a large percent of the pork in production every day, it is essential those drivers are properly equipped and educated. The program’s goal is to teach animal handlers and transporters how to handle and transport pigs in a manner that ensures pig welfare, is safe for the handler and protects animal health.

Common Swine Industry Audit

The Common Swine Industry Audit is a platform for pork producers, packers and processors to verify through a third-party that pigs are raised in compliance with established standards for pig care and pre-harvest pork safety.  The audit tool builds on the existing PQA Plus and TQA programs and is designed to:

  • Provide stakeholders with a consistent, reliable and verifiable system that assures on-farm pig welfare and pre-harvest pork safety
  • Eliminate unnecessary duplication and minimize the administrative and cost burdens redundant audits could impose on farmers, packers, and processors
  • Provide a consistent auditing standard for use throughout the pig industry
  • Create a standard audit process that results in consistency and protection of swine herd health