Growing Forward 2 - Final Report - Page 14

SWINE There are over 1,500 hog producers in Ontario, who raise roughly 8 million pigs, with a total industry output worth approximately $5.6 billion to the Ontario economy1. Many new operations today are state-of-the-art, scale-efficient facilities that specialize in either farrowing or finishing. These facilities embrace the latest in technological development and science-based information in all facets of production. Farms that raise pigs to market size will often move all the growing animals through different sites to control disease (a technique called all-in, all-out operations). Thus, conventional pork production is characterized by an emphasis on biosecurity to control and prevent disease. There is also extensive use of biocides, both in the form of antimicrobial medications for animals and in the disinfectants used for the facilities. Conventional swine operations rear animals in high-density housing, which can facilitate the spread of infectious disease. The primary health concerns in pigs are respiratory and gastro-intestinal conditions, as well as reproductive issues. Most antimicrobial medications have been administered in feed for prophylactic and metaphylactic purposes, as well as for growth promotion. Furthermore, the animals are usually on the antimicrobial feed additive for the long term. When treating infections, it is not uncommon to have poor responses. There are over 1,500 hog producers in Ontario, who raise roughly 8 million pigs, with a total industry output worth approximately $5.6 billion to the Ontario economy. Many new operations today are state-of-theart, scale-efficient facilities that specialize in either farrowing or finishing. Biosecurity protocols are highly variable between swine operations. These protocols can be classified as internal or external. Internal biosecurity procedures are designed to minimize disease transmission within a facility, for example by isolating sick animals. External biosecurity is directed at preventing new pathogens from being introduced into a facility, for example by keeping herds closed and breeding replacement animals onsite. Internal and external biosecurity needs can be in direct conflict. In some swine units, pigs in different production stages are housed at separate facilities. This approach could enhance internal security for breeding facilities, but compromise external security in the older stages by bringing pigs from different sources together. Such a