Purchasing policy and quarantine of breeding gilts

What measures can you take to mitigate the risk of disease introduction to your farm when purchasing live breeding stock?

First, try to avoid the purchase of live breeding stock to minimise the risk of introducing diseases through live animals. If you do purchase breeding animals, take the following measures into account:

  • Always buy from the same supplier, to avoid contamination from multiple farm disease profiles. This helps to prevent new diseases being brought in, against which there may not yet be immunity on your farm.
  • Ensure that your supplier has the same or a higher sanitary status than your own farm for the diseases for which (official) control programs exist.
  • Limit the purchasing frequency. The more often animals are purchased and delivered, the higher the chance of disease transmission.
  • Ensure that the vehicles which deliver the animals are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each delivery so that they do not bring any germs from a previous company onto your farm.
  • Make sure that the gilts are always first housed in a quarantine. If done correctly, the purchased animals can be thoroughly evaluated for disease symptoms, and the necessary vaccinations can be carried out.

A good quarantine:

  • Is an entirely separate air volume (i.e. separated from other stables, both above and below ground).
  • Has a distinct hygiene lock in which you can change footwear and clothing and wash your hands when entering and leaving the stable.
  • Is only refilled after it is completely empty and has been cleaned and disinfected.
  • Should be long enough (at least 28 days recommended). Bear in mind that for some infectious diseases (ex. M. hyopneumoniae) a longer quarantine is necessary. A 40-day quarantine is undoubtedly not a superfluous luxury.