By Daniel A. Nelson, PhD,
Senior nutritionist, pork technical services,
As African swine fever virus continues to march across the globe, the US pork sector is laser focused on keeping it from reaching the homeland.
Tail biting in pigs remains something of a mystery. What triggers a pig or pigs to bite tails? Why do some express this vice and others do not?
As piglets move from the sow farm to the growing stage, it’s important to know their porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) status.
Swine veterinarians putting in long days on the road caring for pigs should be just as cognizant of their own health and nutritional needs.
Encouraging staff to have more direct involvement with managing and handling sows can have positive impacts on herd welfare and mortality rates, say scientists.
Helping piglets make a smooth transition at weaning is always a priority, but bacterial pathogens such as Streptococcus suis and Haemophilus parasuis can make that goal particularly challenging.
Tail biting and lameness directly impact the well-being of growing pigs, which in turn impacts their productivity and the farm’s economics.
Pain management for pigs has always been a challenge, partly because it’s difficult to measure levels of pain and partly because there are no FDA-approved drugs labeled for pain management in pigs.
The pork industry leans heavily on diagnostics to minimize the impact of disease, but they’re especially critical for monitoring African swine fever (ASF) and other trade-limiting foreign animal diseases (FADs).
An alternative technique to physical castration could offer US hog producers a host of financial and management benefits.
Feed and feed ingredients are generating a lot of interest as possible vectors in transmitting swine diseases.
Between tight margins and constant herd-health challenges, pork producers are always looking for new ways to increase efficiencies and profits while also increasing transparency.
The so-called Internet of Things — that emerging world in which everyday tools like thermostats and doorbells suddenly become indispensable smart devices — is not lost on the pork industry.
The AVMA has published its first ever Guidelines for the Depopulation of Animals to help veterinarians support animal welfare in situations where the difficult decision to depopulate has been made.
The US pork industry has demonstrated high standards for animal welfare, but there is still much to learn about mitigating pain — not only during processing, but also pain resulting from Strep suis infection.
By Derald Holtkamp, MS, DVM
Iowa State University