The pig industry is looking to horticulture, human medicine and aquatics for new insights into how to safeguard pig health, including looking at similarities between growing cucumbers in green houses and growing pigs in ventilated buildings.
Specialists from these areas will be joining the pig sector to offer a glance into the future during the annual BPEX Innovation Conference on May 13, which is a free, one-day event focusing on the latest science, management techniques and technologies with a relevance to pig disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
“There are massive similarities, believe it or not, between growing cucumbers in green houses and growing pigs in ventilated buildings,” said University of Worcester research scientist, Alison Wakeham, a keynote speaker at the BPEX event.
“Problems with disease (in cucumbers), for example, come in from outside. There’s also a need to clean effectively between batches to prevent cross contamination and to identify infectious diseases promptly to reduce associated production problems.”
BPEX technical innovation manager, Charlotte West, added: “The field of rapid diagnostics has expanded significantly and there is a lot we can learn from other industries as well as our own sector.
“It is particularly important because of new and emerging diseases on the horizon, as well as the need to pinpoint more accurately and treat infectious organisms to help manage our use of antibiotics.”
In addition to the core format, the event will include smaller, informal breakout discussions during the day to hear from pig producers and researchers about technologies already being applied in industry, including the latest in precision farming and how the waste food industry is reducing odour and technologies for outdoor pigs.