Biosecurity on a farrow-to-finish farm
Prevention is better than cure, with this aim, Bart Debaerdemaecker had an external coach assessing his farms’ biosecurity and identified areas for improvement. Reducing the risk of diseases entering the farm (external biosecurity) and their spread within the farm (internal biosecurity) are two major factors that make antibiotic usage sometimes seem inevitable. However, targeted actions have the potential to reduce the need for antibiotics and thus reduce the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In the video and following text, Bart explains how he improved biosecurity on his farm with simple, low-cost measures.
To prevent the spread of pathogens between different age groups, he uses colour-coded material for each age group. Tools, clothing and footwear are compartment-specific and footwear and hands are frequently disinfected. In addition, he makes use of walking lines to avoid the spread of disease from the older animals to the younger ones. Bart always starts his work in the farrowing pens, proceeds to the weaned piglets, and then ends up in the finisher pig house. The newly purchased gilts, sick bay and cadaver storage are visited last.
A second measure is the use of a gate for a physical separation between the ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ area. To get access to the farm, visitors need to ring the bell at the entrance gate and register. Furthermore, specific footwear to enter the ‘dirty’ area of the farm is provided at the entrance, and always remains outside the gate.
Another ingenious measure is the waiting zone for the pigs between the stable corridor and the loading bay, created with a sliding door from a horse stable. When the outside light is on, the transporter knows the animals are in the waiting zone and ready to load. This way the driver never enters the clean area.