The Danish pig industry is to invest the equivalent of up to £1.6 million in state-of-the-art lorry cleaning facilities to help prevent infectious diseases from spreading onto Danish pig units.
With 22,000 lorries entering Denmark each year to collect piglets and finishers to meet export orders, the risk of infectious diseases also being transported into the country has prompted the Danish Pig Research Centre (DPRC) to invest in a new disinfection facility at the border with Germany.
The new facility, which is expected to become operational next year, will enable improved methods of disinfection to be used, allowing vehicles to move onto farms after a quarantine period of just 12 hours. Currently, a lorry entering Denmark has to be quarantined for 48 hours, after it has been cleaned, before being allowed near a pig unit.
“Proper cleaning and disinfection are more important than time,” said DPRC chairman, Erik Larsen. “Our investigations show that the cleaning process can be far better and more professional than it is today.
While designed to combat the spread of all diseases, the new facility will be particularly focused on the threat posed to the Danish industry by African swine fever and PEDv.
“Swine fever has been found less than a 10-hour drive from Denmark’s borders,” said Mr Larsen, speaking at the recent Herning Congress in Denmark. “Bacteria and viruses can be transferred via lorries which move in high risk areas such as Poland, where we currently sell many piglets. Measures to prevent infection arriving in Denmark can be made more rigorous, which is what we’re doing now.”