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The biosecurity status and its associations with production and management characteristics in farrow-to-finish pig herds

Merel Postma UGent, A Backhans, L Collineau, S Loesken, M Sjölund, C Belloc, U Emanuelson, E Grosse Beilage, KDC Stärk and Jeroen Dewulf UGent (2016) ANIMAL. 10(3). p.478-489
abstract
Disease prevention through biosecurity measures is believed to be an important factor for improvement of the overall health status in animal production. This study aimed at assessing the levels of implementation of biosecurity measures in pig production in four European Union (EU) countries and to describe possible associations between the biosecurity level and farm and production characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 232 farrow-to-finish pig herds in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden between December 2012 and December 2013. The biosecurity status in each of these herds was described and quantified by using the risk-based scoring tool Biocheck.UGentTM (www.biocheck.ugent.be). Production and management characteristics, obtained from the herd management system and by interviewing the farmer, were analysed for their association with the biosecurity level. A causal path was designed to study statistical associations. The results showed that there was substantial room for improvement in the biosecurity status on many pig farms. Significant differences (P<0.01) both in internal and external biosecurity levels were observed between countries. The external biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent disease introduction into the herd, was highest in Germany and lowest in France. The internal biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent within herd disease transmission, was highest in Sweden and lowest, with a large variation, in Belgium. External biosecurity scores were in general higher compared to internal biosecurity scores. The number of pathogens vaccinated against was significantly associated with internal biosecurity status, suggesting an overall more preventive approach towards the risk of disease transmission. A higher external biosecurity was associated with more weaned piglets per sow per year. Furthermore also the weaning age and the mortality till weaning were highly associated with the number of weaned piglets per sow per year. The negative association observed between the biosecurity level and the estimated frequency of treatment against certain clinical signs of disease as a proxy for disease incidence is consistent with the hypothesis that a higher biosecurity level results in healthier animals. These findings promote an improved biosecurity status at pig farms and are of relevance in the discussion on alternative ways to keep animals healthy with a reduced necessity of antimicrobials; Prevention is better than cure!
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
biosecurity, alternative to antimicrobial agents, causal path, pig production, disease prevention, ON-FARM BIOSECURITY, RISK-FACTORS, SWEDISH, PERCEPTIONS
journal title
ANIMAL
Animal
volume
10
issue
3
pages
478 - 489
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000377122600015
JCR category
AGRICULTURE, DAIRY & ANIMAL SCIENCE
JCR impact factor
1.921 (2016)
JCR rank
5/58 (2016)
JCR quartile
1 (2016)
ISSN
1751-7311
DOI
10.1017/S1751731115002487
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
7000215
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7000215
date created
2015-12-03 01:18:53
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:46:55
@article{7000215,
  abstract     = {Disease prevention through biosecurity measures is believed to be an important factor for improvement of the overall health status in animal production. This study aimed at assessing the levels of implementation of biosecurity measures in pig production in four European Union (EU) countries and to describe possible associations between the biosecurity level and farm and production characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 232 farrow-to-finish pig herds in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden between December 2012 and December 2013. The biosecurity status in each of these herds was described and quantified by using the risk-based scoring tool Biocheck.UGentTM (www.biocheck.ugent.be). Production and management characteristics, obtained from the herd management system and by interviewing the farmer, were analysed for their association with the biosecurity level. A causal path was designed to study statistical associations. The results showed that there was substantial room for improvement in the biosecurity status on many pig farms. Significant differences (P{\textlangle}0.01) both in internal and external biosecurity levels were observed between countries. The external biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent disease introduction into the herd, was highest in Germany and lowest in France. The internal biosecurity status, combining all measures taken to prevent within herd disease transmission, was highest in Sweden and lowest, with a large variation, in Belgium. External biosecurity scores were in general higher compared to internal biosecurity scores. The number of pathogens vaccinated against was significantly associated with internal biosecurity status, suggesting an overall more preventive approach towards the risk of disease transmission. A higher external biosecurity was associated with more weaned piglets per sow per year. Furthermore also the weaning age and the mortality till weaning were highly associated with the number of weaned piglets per sow per year. The negative association observed between the biosecurity level and the estimated frequency of treatment against certain clinical signs of disease as a proxy for disease incidence is consistent with the hypothesis that a higher biosecurity level results in healthier animals. These findings promote an improved biosecurity status at pig farms and are of relevance in the discussion on alternative ways to keep animals healthy with a reduced necessity of antimicrobials; Prevention is better than cure!},
  author       = {Postma, Merel and Backhans, A and Collineau, L and Loesken, S and Sj{\"o}lund, M and Belloc, C and Emanuelson, U and Grosse Beilage, E and St{\"a}rk, KDC and Dewulf, Jeroen},
  issn         = {1751-7311},
  journal      = {ANIMAL},
  keyword      = {biosecurity,alternative to antimicrobial agents,causal path,pig production,disease prevention,ON-FARM BIOSECURITY,RISK-FACTORS,SWEDISH,PERCEPTIONS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {478--489},
  title        = {The biosecurity status and its associations with production and management characteristics in farrow-to-finish pig herds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731115002487},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2016},
}

Chicago
Postma, Merel, A Backhans, L Collineau, S Loesken, M Sjölund, C Belloc, U Emanuelson, E Grosse Beilage, KDC Stärk, and Jeroen Dewulf. 2016. “The Biosecurity Status and Its Associations with Production and Management Characteristics in Farrow-to-finish Pig Herds.” Animal 10 (3): 478–489.
APA
Postma, Merel, Backhans, A., Collineau, L., Loesken, S., Sjölund, M., Belloc, C., Emanuelson, U., et al. (2016). The biosecurity status and its associations with production and management characteristics in farrow-to-finish pig herds. ANIMAL, 10(3), 478–489.
Vancouver
1.
Postma M, Backhans A, Collineau L, Loesken S, Sjölund M, Belloc C, et al. The biosecurity status and its associations with production and management characteristics in farrow-to-finish pig herds. ANIMAL. 2016;10(3):478–89.
MLA
Postma, Merel, A Backhans, L Collineau, et al. “The Biosecurity Status and Its Associations with Production and Management Characteristics in Farrow-to-finish Pig Herds.” ANIMAL 10.3 (2016): 478–489. Print.