Interim points of on-farm action from four-year Salmonella project

Efforts to reduce on-farm levels of Salmonella have highlighted the importance of maintaining foot dips and dilution rates, effective manure management and the need to prevent birds from accessing production units.

These were the headline points to emerge during a recent Salmonella roadshow in East Anglia, held to publicise the interim findings of a four-year project, which is backed by Defra and is being carried out by the Animal Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Although the project isn’t due to finish for another year, it was felt the release of the interim results would allow producers to start making management changes as soon as possible.

“Some really strong messages came out of the event for producers to consider applying on their units,” commented AHDB Pork’s health information and food safety coordinator, Emma Bailey-Beech.

“A couple of areas that particularly struck a chord were the importance of maintaining foot dips and dilution rates, effective manure management and preventing birds from accessing units.”

APHA’s Becky Gosling, commenting on trial results so far, highlighted the importance of choosing the right disinfectant for the right job. For example, a different disinfectant should be used for foot dipping and for cleaning buildings.

Producers were also urged to ensure that buildings are fully cleaned and dried before any disinfectant is used. Checking dilution ratios and ensuring that foot dips are regularly refreshed to ensure that they’re working effectively were also identified as “vital” activities.

“Producers were also reminded about manure management and in particular the issue of surface run-off,” added Ms Bailey-Beech. “They were informed that, where possible, manure should be stored away from buildings and farm staff should avoid walking and driving close to the area to reduce the risk of cross contamination.”

A final key point concerned the value of preventing birds from entering units, both indoor and outdoor, as they can carry Salmonella and could maintain infection between batches of pigs. Suggested solutions included feeding outdoor pigs inside the ark or in troughs to discourage birds.

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