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Well Designed Loadout Provides Additional Layer of Biosecurity
Dr. Julia Keenliside - Edmonton based veterinary consultant

Farmscape for January 2, 2024

An Edmonton based veterinary consultant suggests a well-designed loadout can add an additional line of defence against disease transmission when transport biosecurity fails.
In response to a large outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in Manitoba in the spring of 2022, the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network coordinated a project which looked at loadout biosecurity.
Dr. Julia Keenliside, an Edmonton based veterinary consultant, says a survey of veterinarians showed there's a huge diversity in loadout designs and in biosecurity procedures from farm to farm.

Quote-Dr. Julia Keenliside-An Edmonton based veterinary consultant:
We knew that transport trucks would be contaminated at assembly yards and abattoirs and that these contaminated trucks would then go back to pick up pigs and potentially spread the virus because the trucks were contacted at the barn.
We learned that if we washed, dried disinfected and even baked our trucks that we could kill all of the virus on those trucks.
But, what happened in 2022 is in spite of all of this and getting the outbreak under control, we had a huge outbreak in Manitoba again so people started asking questions.
How could this be, we're doing such a great job on our trucks?
It turned out that, perhaps even though we can eliminate 100 percent of the virus on a truck, maybe we can't do it 100 percent of the time.
Maybe 99 out of 100 trucks are virus-free but maybe one in 100 isn't.
What prompted this possibly was the severe weather.
There was a lot of very cold temperatures and snowstorms which made cleaning and drying the trucks difficult.
So, the theory is that perhaps the trucks were still causing a problem.
When transport biosecurity fails, we need to have a second layer of biosecurity to protect us at the farm and that's the loadout biosecurity.
I don't think we can assume that those trucks are 100 percent clean 100 percent of the time.

Dr. Keenliside says we have lots of research available to show how to design facilities to move pigs and producers may be able improve their loadout biosecurity just by making a few simple changes rather than rebuilding a whole loadout area.
She suggests it has to be easy to load pigs through, it has to be easy for staff to work in and pigs have to move through it well.
For more visit Farmscape.Ca.
Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is produced on behalf of North America’s pork producers

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