Improving Biosecurity in Swine Transport
While on farm biosecurity measures are increasingly stringent, a major gap that can allow for transmission of disease is biosecurity in transport. As such, new cleaning procedures for trailers must be developed to make sanitizing trailers easy and effective. Problems associated with cleaning trailers include the low number of trailers available, downtime required between loads, limited washing capacity, and trailer designs that make cleaning difficult.
After inventory of currently available trailers is taken and graded on ease of cleaning and ease of animal handling, automated systems will be developed to assist in cleaning the trailers.
The three main trailer companies supplying stock trailers to Canada are Wilson Trailer Company, Eby Trailers, and Merritt Equipment. Each of these trailers has both pros and cons. However, small changes such as capped end-plates and changes in crossbar shape can go a long way in making cleaning easier. An up and coming trailer style is hydraulic. These trailers contain multiple flat decks that are filled with livestock and then hydraulically raised into place. This allows ease of pig movements and ease of cleaning. However, it is not known if these systems will withstand the harsh winters in Western Canada.