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Epidemiology of enteric disease in grower.finisher pigs: a postai survey of pig producers in England
  1. G. P. Pearce, BSc(Agric),PhD, BVSc, MRCVS1,1
  1. 1 Animal Science Research Centre, Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB


A questionnaire was sent to 238 members of local pig discussion groups in the West Midlands region of England to identify farm level fators associated with the occurrence of diarrhoea in grower.finisher pigs. The questions related to the occurrence, diagnosis and aetiology of scour problems on the farm, the prevalence of common porcine diseases on the farm, the classes of pigs, staff employment, source of replacement stock and biosecurity measures, the husbandry techniques such as piglet management, use of medication, movement and mixing of pigs, dung removal and pen preparation between batches of pigs, and the physical resources such as floor type, pen divisions, watering, feeding and dung disposal systems. Replies from 105 producers keeping grower.finisher pigs were included in the analysis, 50.5 per cent of which had had a scour problem at some time in the previous three years. The causes of scour had been identified as colitis (34.3 per cent), swine dysentery (10.5 per cent) or porcine enteropathy (3.8 per cent). There was a significant association between the following fadors and the occurrence of diarrhoea in grower.finisher pigs: the use of water medication for weaners (odds ratio=11.8; P=0.002), the tail.docking of piglets (odds ratio=8.6; P=0.003), the use of a wet feeding system for finishers (odds ratio=5.9; P=0.009), finishers housed on partially slatted floors (odds ratio=3.6; P=0.044), and the use of an isolation procedure for incoming breeding stock involving exposure to dung (odds ratio=3.5; P=0.046). The use of disinfectant in the preparation of pens between batches of pigs appeared to be protective (odds ratio=0.3; P=0.046).

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