Herd Health Program Checklist
The following Herd Health Program Checklist has been designed by the Australian Pig Veterinarians, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), and has been endorsed by the AVA and Australian Pork Limited (APL). The checklist is designed to meet Standard 5.2.7 of the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Pigs), Revised in 2007.
You should keep this document filed safely so that you can present it during farm inspections. We recommend that your Herd Health Program be reviewed at least every 12 months – or sooner if you suffer a disease outbreak.
S=support material; RM=risk mitigation
Have you discussed this Herd Health Program with a veterinarian?
Name of veterinarian & date of discussion
1. Biosecurity: Preventing introduction of new diseases
Have you seen feral pigs in contact with domestic pigs?
S: Brucellosis & EAD
RM: Build a perimeter fence; Control feral pig populations (shoot/bait);
Can visitors contact your pigs without your knowledge?
S: The risk of disease introduction through uncontrolled human movements
RM: Record visitor movements in a calendar or diary.
Are visitors supplied with clean boots and overalls?
S: Human biosecurity risk & public health risk through poor personal hygiene
RM: Supply boots and overalls for visitors and provide hand-washing facilities.
Do you know the health status of incoming stock?
S: The major costly endemic diseases of pigs; Determining herd health status.
RM: Do not purchase pigs from saleyards or herds with unknown health status; Record pig movements through the use of PigPass National Vendor Declarations. Ask your vet to check the health status of the farm you are purchasing from.
If you do artificial insemination on your farm, have you consulted a veterinarian/adviser on disease prevention?
S: Infectious reproductive diseases of pigs
RM: Seek advice from a veterinarian/adviser and purchase only from a registered supplier of semen that will supply a vendor declaration.
Are introduced stock kept separate for a period of time and observed for signs of disease?
S: The importance of quarantine
RM: Set up and manage quarantine systems -ideally in consultation with your veterinarian.
Do all of the people who work with the pigs on your farm know what swill is?
S: Definitions of swill
RM: All people who supervise pigs know what swill is
Is swill fed to pigs?
S: Why swill feeding is a risk
RM: Ensure that owners and visitors do not give pigs access to swill. Supervise visitors while they contact pigs
Do all of the people who work with your pigs have training in emergency animal diseases (EADs)?
S: How to recognise EADs in pigs
RM: Train pig caretakers to recognise EADs
Do you see rats and or mice in contact with your pigs?
S: Diseases spread by rodents
RM: Implement an effective rodent control program
Do you regularly clean pens and/or remove manure from paddocks where your pigs are housed?
S: Importance of removing manure
RM: Clean and disinfect pig pens when they are emptied; rotate & spell paddocks used to house pigs.
Are the vehicles used to transport your pigs cleaned before returning to your farm?
S: Why you should do this?
RM: Hose away all manure from trucks off-site
2. Maintaining Good Herd Health: Disease control and recognition
Do you have a routine preventative vaccination program for your pigs?
S: Effective vaccination programs for pigs
RM: Talk with your veterinarian about implementing a vaccination program for your pigs
Can you recognise "sick" and "healthy" pigs
S: How to recognise a sick pig.
RM: Inspect pigs on a daily basis.
Are sick and dead pigs recorded for each age-group of pigs as part of a health monitoring program?
S: Basic record-keeping for pig farmers
RM: Record sick & dead pigs in a calendar or diary
Are reproductive losses (abortions, mummies, stillbirths) recorded as part of a health monitoring program?
S: Reproductive diseases of pigs
RM: Record abortions, mummies & stillbirths in a calendar or diary
Is the veterinarian consulted if the number of sick/dead pigs or reproductive losses is more than normal for this herd and/or higher than industry targets?
S: Intervention levels and industry targets for mortality and reproductive losses.
RM: Record any pig treatments & deaths, and reproductive loss.
Is there a plan for managing sick and/or compromised pigs?
S: How to manage sick/compromised pigs; Pig euthanasia (when & how).
RM: Set up an effective plan to separate (when being bullied), support & monitor the recovery of sick/compromised, and euthanize pigs where appropriate.
Is there is a plan to manage thin pigs (condition score < 2) so that they put on weight or are euthanized?
S: Condition scoring of pigs
RM: Inspect pigs on a daily basis. Have a plan for managing thin pigs.
Do you have a written method of euthanizing sick/compromised pigs in a timely manner?
S: Pig euthanasia (when & how)
RM: Ensure you have the necessary equipment to humanely euthanize pigs – and know how to use it.
Do you have a copy of the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Pigs), Revised in 2007 and are you familiar with its contents and your responsibilities?
RM: Read the MCOP and have a copy on-hand which is readily accessible to all staff.
|3. Risk Management: Recording chemical treatments and medication|
Do you have a list of all chemicals and veterinary products used on your pigs?
S: Why is this important?
RM: Prescription-only medicines should only be provided by a veterinarian; Record all chemicals (disinfectants, pesticides, rodent control etc.) used on-farm
Do you know what a withholding period is?
S: What a WHP is.
RM: Prescription–only medicines come with clear instructions from a veterinarian; non- prescription chemicals (not sourced from a veterinarian) will have label instruction for dose rate and WHP; .record any pig treatments on a calendar or diary
Do you keep records of where your feed comes from?
S: Why this is important
RM: Keep records of where all feed is sourced