OAHN swine small-scale herd postmortem project continues

Josepha DeLay, Tim Pasma

Animal Health Laboratory, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON (DeLay); OMAFRA, Guelph, ON (Pasma)

AHL Newsletter 2020;24(4):12.

The Ontario Animal Health Network (OAHN) has sponsored a new study through the Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) to identify disease issues in small-scale swine herds in Ontario.  An important goal of the project is also to facilitate connection and communication between veterinarians and small-scale producers.

To date, 8 submissions have been received from small herds meeting the project requirements (see below).  Please continue to encourage your small swine herd clients to participate in this worthwhile project, and to spread the word about the project to other producers with small herds.

Summary of herd requirements for participation in the project:

  • The swine herd is located in Ontario and has ≤50 sows, or markets ≤1000 hogs per year;
  • The herd has, or is in the process of obtaining, a Premises Identification Number (PID);
  • The producer completes and submits a herd management survey (included with submission form);
  • The herd veterinarian has enrolled the herd / case in the project.

The project funds postmortems (PM) on pigs that die or are euthanized due to disease, and for which the herd meets the above criteria. PM samples will be tested for a variety of diseases depending on the presenting complaint and the age of the animals.  All submissions will be tested for PRRSV and influenza A virus. Test results will be reported to the herd veterinarian who will communicate these findings to the producer.

The costs of PM at the AHL and all diagnostic tests will be covered by the project, at no charge to the client.  For cases with an on-farm PM, veterinarians will receive a subsidy for conducting the PM, and all diagnostic test costs will similarly be covered by the project.  Importantly, on-farm PMs must follow the project sampling protocol specific for each age group and disease syndrome (see links to submission forms and sampling guides at https://www.uoguelph.ca/ahl/oahn-swine-small-scale-herd-postmortem-project-may-2020).

For more information, to enroll a small herd in the project, and to receive a sampling kit for field PMs, veterinarians may contact Dr. Josepha DeLay at the AHL (jdelay@uoguelph.ca or 519-824-4120 ext 54576).   AHL