Preventing streptococcal infections
There are several management measures that can be taken towards preventing Streptococcal infections. Biosecurity rules designed to prevent the introduction of germs like Streptococcus suis onto the farm must be respected. Important factors are: separating clean and dirty areas, biosecurity measures for persons entering the barn (washing hands, company clothing and boots), restricting the purchase of animals, and proper pest control.
Measures relating to spread of germs within the farm must also be observed. Piglet relocation must be limited and done via a pre-established protocol. If foster sows are used, these should be brought to the piglets (and not vice-versa). Working lines should be respected, from young to old (farrowing pen -> piglet battery -> fattening pigs). Between stables, it is important to wash hands and change overalls and boots. It is advisable to have different equipment per animal group, and to clean and disinfect this material regularly.
Around the time of farrowing, sows’ manure must be removed. Wound prevention is important: if castration is necessary, it must be done hygienically; and default teeth removal should be avoided. The floor in the farrowing pen should not be rough, to avoid injury.
Piglets should be weaned at minimum 25 days old; animals of the same litters should be kept together and piglets should be separated by age.
After weaning, access to fresh feed and drinking water and enough light must be ensured. The piglet house must be dry and sufficiently warm (temperature must be 5°C warmer than in the farrowing pen). Air flow in the battery should be checked prevent draught at the level of the lying areas.
Finally, cleaning and disinfection of the wards must follow a fixed protocol: dry cleaning, soaking, wet cleaning, drying, disinfection.