A US swine health maintenance expert said recently it is vital for pig farmers in China to produce disease negative breeding herds in order to reduce costs and improve the daily weight gain of pigs. Mark Schwartz of Schwartz Farms Minnesota told delegates at the Leman China Swine Conference in Xi'an, central China, it is important when starting new breeding herds to stock the farm with pigs free from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and mycoplasma.
Such pigs could lead to a $4-$9 increase in costs per animal. At the same time, they could produce 4% to 6% reduction in feed efficiency, increased mortality and treatment costs. Delegates were told it is crucial to work towards control of pathogens over which they were able to effect change. These include achieving piglet gut health, PRRS and mycoplasma negative status. Mr Schwartz also advocated using available proven technologies to a produce a PRRS and mycoplasma negative weaned pig. It is important to implement sound biosecurity protocols to minimize infections from dirty trailers. In addition, in pig-dense regions filtration is one facet of a systematic biosecurity program to protect the health of the breeding herd. Mr Schwartz stressed it is also essential to provide the piglet with a clean dry environment with access to quality colostrum. "When starting new breeding herds, stock the new farm with PRRS and mycoplasma negative gilts," said Mr Schwartz. "Utilize herd closure and eradication programs on PRRS and/or mycoplasma positive breeding herds to produce a negative weaned pig. Utilize sound biosecurity practices and if necessary utilize filtration using proven filtering technologies."