Why is biosecurity so important?

Biosecurity is critical to help minimize the spread of multiple diseases in the swine industry. The list of diseases is long, and they can be very devastating for the barns and/or the industry. Some example of diseases would be Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED), African swine fever  (ASF) or Foot and Mouth Disease.

The impact of such diseases in barns that have never been exposed is huge: increase in mortality (PED, for example, affects young animals very severely with 100% loss for piglets under 10 days of age), loss in production (PRRS can cause abortions and poor reproduction in sow herds), increase in medication cost (to help alleviate the disease and minimize losses), etc. Depending on the disease, the stage of production and the size of the barn, an outbreak could cost a producer anywhere from a few thousand to millions of dollars.

National Swine Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard

Biosecurity is the term used to describe the measures and procedures needed to protect a population against the introduction and spread of pathogens. FAO/WB/OIE experts (2009) defined it as “the implementation of measures that reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of disease agents. It requires the adoption of attitudes and behaviours by people to reduce risk in all activities involving domestic, captive/exotic and wild animals and their products”.

In January 2010, based on recommendations of the Canadian Swine Health Board Biosecurity Advisory Committee, a Technical Committee was formed and given the mandate to develop a first draft of the National Swine Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard. This voluntary Standard is a tool for producers and industry stakeholders to use to tailor biosecurity measures to individual farm needs and regional considerations. It is a means to improve the economics of the industry.

Click here to open or download the PDF version of the National Swine Farm-Level Biosecurity Standard (2010).