A new ambassador programme launched this week by MSD Animal Health UK, prioritises pig health in order to achieve disease free units, encouraging proactive disease control among pig producers.
The initiative encourages producers to assess their own systems and implement proactive disease management protocols, while also learning from their peers to fight intrusive diseases which continue to threaten the health of the UK pig industry.
Ingrid Potter, MSD Animal Health UK key account manager, says that there is no better time to launch the initiative: “We currently have African Swine Fever (ASF) decimating pig populations across the world, and, as a country, we continue to battle pig losses from common diseases and health issues.
“Lawsonia intracelluaris, that causes Ileitis, is reported to be costing as much as £14.10 per marketed pig and PRRS is estimated to be costing producers £5 per marketed pig. These are just some examples of the issues the sector is faced with.
“We want to encourage producers to see vaccination as a proactive and preventative way to manage disease, to work closely with their vet to assess farm disease risk profiles, and consequently implement an extensive biosecurity and vaccination plan.
“The recruitment of two farmers to the MSD Animal Health Growing Healthy Pigs ambassador programme aims to showcase and share with others how different farming systems are tackling disease, and other common issues faced by the industry, head-on,” she says.
“We know all farmers take pride in rearing healthy livestock and we want to support them to achieve and maintain a proactive approach to disease control.
“The industry is facing challenging times. However, disease control, with the right approach, is one factor that can be managed in order to reduce long-term consequences.”