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PATHSURVPIG

Investigation of respiratory disease on Irish pig farms, associated risk factors, and the relationship with performance, welfare and antimicrobial use

Project Summary

Respiratory problems are the main pathology in Ireland and this project aims to find risk factors for respiratory problems (management, nutrition, genetics, etc.), implement or develop diagnostic tools, relate respiratory problems to other health and welfare issues and do an economic evaluation of the problems and possible solutions. Baseline data on respiratory pathology on farm and at slaughter will be collected, including cross-sectional data from 80 to 100 farms and data from longitudinal studies on up to 20 farms. A holistic approach will be adopted and data on respiratory disease will be set in the context of information on risk factors for disease, farm management and productivity, animal welfare and antimicrobial usage. This will allow comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to be completed and maximize understanding of the underlying reasons for disease occurrence on farms and cost to the industry. Data on costs, risk factors and associated effects on pig welfare and productivity can then be used to drive management change on farms to control respiratory disease and associated losses, thus contributing to more profitable and sustainable pig production.

Expected benefits

  • Identification of infectious diseases of primary importance to the Irish pig industry, their effects on growing-finishing efficiency and assessment of associated risk factors
  • Identification of the prevalence and aetiology of pleurisy and bronchopneumonia in Irish slaughter pigs and effects on carcass quality and farm profitability
  • Development of cost efficient diagnostic tools for the management of respiratory disease in Irish
  • Cost-benefit analysis of disease and welfare problems on Irish pig farms and current treatment and preventive measures

Teagasc Personnel:

Funding body:

  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

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