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A study on enhancing the delivery of Farm Health Planning in the Pig Industry - SE4008

Description
The applied research project proposed here sets out to research the hypothesis that :
“pig health, welfare and performance can be improved by by more active Farm Health Planning”

The project will:
1. evaluate the key role of the vet as the ingredient that gives expert value to producer groups.
2. identify the key drivers for producers to use a holistic approach to improving herd health through all of the tools available.
3. benchmark the current health of units within these groups using veterinary practice clinical assessment, VLA laboratory testing, BPHS and ZAP tools.
4. assess the uptake and devlop better communication tools for use of the British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) data-flow on carcass inspection at abattoir and the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) feedback routine veterinary farm visits.
5. evaluate awareness of the Zoonoses Action Plan (ZAP) and identify key barriers Salmonella control.
6. identify more effective drivers to encourage producers to enhance bio-security.
7. develop tools to support veterinary surveillance and the necessary reporting mechanism
8. investigate correlations between post-mortem findings with prior clinical evidence on farm.
9. assess attitudes to development of regional or national eradication programmes and the development of a “Specific Pathogen Free” supply chain
10. evaluate the effectiveness of Farm Health Planning in improving health welfare and performance during the study period.
11. communicate the outputs to the industry.
12. create the basis for a sustainable national scheme.

Back in 2000, pig producers in East Anglia responded to a crisis created by PMWS, and with some small financial assistance from ADER, established 10 small groups or hubs of producers who met to share management information on best practice to combat the disease.

In 2007 there continue to be considerable health challenges. To improve its competitive position the UK pig industry must learn to manage these challenges. To achieve this aim the industry proposes a research project to stimulate, manage and monitor self-help groups through Farm Health Planning (FHP).

FHP has the potential to be the catalyst to encourage formation of self-help groups. Existing information can be brought together with physical performance, farm environment and health data all of critical importance. When combined with professional analysis can that data be transformed into information to inform management decisions and on-farm actions?

This project is scheduled to run for 12 months managed by a member of staff seconded from Defra.

At the end of the 12 months the project will continue with BPEX support through the Knowledge Transfer team working with the veterinary practices. It is anticipated that the successes when communicated will then lead to increased uptake through the industry.
Objective
The objectives are:

1. To engage local vets as the recognised authority and the focal point for establishing self-help producer groups in the development and delivery of FHPs to improve health status on commercial pig farms.

2. To identify the key drivers for producers to use a holistic approach to improving herd health through all of the tools available.
3. To benchmark the current health of units within these groups using veterinary practice clinical assessment, VLA laboratory testing, BPHS and ZAP tools.
4. To assess the uptake and develop better communication tools for use of the British Pig Health Scheme (BPHS) data-flow on carcass inspection at abattoir and the National Animal Disease Information Service (NADIS) feedback routine veterinary farm visits.
5. To raise awareness of the Zoonoses Action Plan (ZAP) and identify effective and practical methods for Salmonella control.
6. To raise awareness of risk factors and encourage the uptake of bio-security in protecting pig health.
7. To develop tools to support veterinary surveillance and associated reporting mechanisms.
8. To investigate correlations between post-mortem findings with prior clinical evidence on farm.
9. To assess attitudes to development of regional or national eradication programmes and the development of a “Specific Pathogen Free” supply chain
10. To evaluate the effectiveness of Farm Health Planning in improving health welfare and performance during the study period.
11. To communicate the outputs to the industry.
To create the basis for a sustainable national scheme.
Project Documents
• Final Report : A study on enhancing the delivery of Farm Health Planning in the Pig Industry   (242k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2007

To: 2008

Cost: £206,459
Contractor / Funded Organisations
British Pig Executive
Keywords
Animal Production              
Animal Welfare              
Farm Management              
Farming              
Livestock Farming              
Pigs              
Fields of Study
Animal Health