What is biosecurity worth to your operation? Biosecurity is one of those things like insurance – you often forget about it in the day-to-day operation of your business until you need it. At that point in time when required, you don’t want to be left wondering if is good enough. A 2010 study conducted by the George Morris Centre, Prairie Swine Centre, and Centre de Développement du Porc du Québec estimated the losses associated with an acute PRRS outbreak at approximately $30 per hog marketed. This loss primarily consists of greater inefficiencies within an operation: higher mortality, greater marketing variability, lower value/carcass, and higher labour requirements to name a few. While PRRS is not the only transmissible disease that has the potential to create a huge economic loss to the Canadian Pork industry – it does provide a very real example of the importance of bio-security and why we should never lose sight of it.
Biosecurity is an integral part of the Canadian pork industry however it does become more challenging to manage in pig dense areas – as disease outbreaks still have occurred despite biosecurity protocols being in place. One technology that is being given more consideration is the use of air filtration systems which filters incoming air to eliminate potential pathogen exposure. This type of technology has been around for a while, and incorporated in areas of higher pig density (Quebec, Ontario) as well as with breeding stock companies and boar studs across the country.
What do we know about the effectiveness, function, adaptability, and longevity of these type of systems? A project funded through the Canadian Swine Health Board (CSHB) takes a four-pronged approach examining ways we can minimize the contamination risk and develop a bio-containment system in the event of a disease outbreak. These projects examine:
- Minimizing the risk of contamination of Canadian hog barns fitted with air filtration systems.
- Design and development of an air filtration system for animal transport vehicles
- Design and development of an emergency biocontainment system to isolate swine facilities following an outbreak of transmissible airborne diseases
- Development of a bio-containment system utilizing air filtration at exhaust fans – combining different technologies to reduce filter clogging problems
The power point notes for a presentation given by Alliance Genetics Canada on air filtration. Included are pictures of the various barn features being used for the air filtration system.
The Centre de développement du porc du Québec inc. provides a fact sheet on air filtration system topics such as effectiveness, types of filters, costs, and creating an air tight facility.
The power point notes for a presentation on air filtration systems in transport vehicles, and emergency biocontainment for a barn during disease outbreaks.
The power point presentation from South West Ontario Veterinary Services on the spread of airborne diseases, presented by Dr. B. Jones (DVM).
The fact sheet for a study by the Centre de développement du porc du Québec inc. performing a Production Animal Disease Risk Assessment Program analysis on Canadian barns that use an air filtration system.
The power point presentation from Centre de développement du porc du Québec inc. on two studies: Minimization of the Risk of Contamination in Canadian Swine Barns with Air Filtration Systems, and Innovative Biocontainment Concept with Air Filtration at the Exhaust Fans in a Quarantine Facility.
Engineering and biosecurity checklists designed by Centre de développement du porc du Québec inc. for barns with an air filtration system.
The fact sheet for a case study on the economics of installing an air filtration system in four farrowing facilities, two gilt replacement facilities, and one farrow-to-finish.
A study examining the effectiveness, maintenance required, and cost of an air filtration systems in an attached quarantine barn. StuffNix or MERV-13 prefilters were used, and each tested with or without an ionization system.