Industry Partners

Prairie Swine Centre is an affiliate of the University of Saskatchewan

Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

Financial support for the Enterprise Model Project and Pork Insight has been provided by:

Author(s): Luc Dufresne
Publication Date: January 1, 2002
Reference: Banff Pork Seminar 2002
Country: Canada


Disease eradication is important, but it is quite costly and there is always the risk that it will not work. The option to eradicate needs to be looked at from a business point of view as well. A system evaluation needs to precede eradication, which includes considering your barns final product, performance data, facility design, cost of production, disease knowledge, disease cost, survivability of the disease, source of animals and whether they are negative for the disease, biosecurity assessment and deciding whether the protocol is worth it. Factors that influence the cost of an eradication program includes medication, diagnostic testing, inventory modification, flow disruption (revenue losses due to pig flow disruption), rent of extra facility, personnel (extra hired help), and down time of the facility. Disease eradication can improve sow performance (via eradication of diseases such as PRRS), grower performance, and in the end, the profitability. Other factors to consider in an eradication program include market price, facility cost and interest rate. Techniques for disease eradication include medication elimination (chemical therapeutic agent). This method has been used for Swine Dysentery and Mange, and it is less effective for other diseases. The only economic aspect to consider is medication cost and labour cost. Elimination can also be done by vaccination/exposure and herd closure. This entails vaccinating or exposing the disease to the entire herd population. Temporarily closing the herd to new breeding stock is an important step. This process works mainly for TGE, and to a lesser extent, PRRS and PRV. The economic cost of this method is essentially the disruption in production and pig flow. Elimination by test and removal uses one or a combination of diagnostic tests to remove positive animals from the herd. This method has been successful for Pseudorabies in sow herds. The economic costs include diagnostics, medication, and a higher replacement rate. The medicated early weaning technique uses a combination of medication, vaccination, early weaning, and removal of the weaned animal to another site. This works for horizontally or vertically transmitted diseases. The main costs include rental of extra facilities, medication, and testing. Partial depopulation is the movement of animals out of the nursery and/or finisher to create a flow disruption. This technique can work on any pathogen, and the costs include the downtime of the facilities, throughput reduction, and opportunity losses. The source of animals must be free of the targeted disease. Depopulation/repopulation entails culling the entire breeding herd, cleaning the entire facility, and then repopulating after a time. This works well with most pathogens, but is the most costly technique due to replacement cost and cost of facility downtime. This technique works well for multi-site production.

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