You can transfer disease back home on your person or clothing (indirect contact) when visiting other swine or exhibitions. Change clothing and wash hands before any contact with animals that were left at home. Manure is also a vector of disease. Boots or footwear should also be changed after being in an area with other livestock. The foot mats in your vehicle can harbor disease if they are exposed to manure and bedding from the show. Changing into clean footwear before entering your vehicle to will help reduce the chance of spreading disease back to the farm or other areas.
Equipment used at or for swine shows is also at risk of contributing to disease transfer. Items, such as feed pans, waterers, shovels and show equipment should be cleaned and disinfected when returning home. All organic matter and manure should be removed from the items when washed. A simple disinfectant is a 6% bleach solution, which when mixed with water in a 1 part bleach, 32 parts water ratio will kill most viruses.
Trailers used to haul livestock to and from shows and markets should also be cleaned and disinfected. Cleaned trailers should be allowed to completely dry before hauling any other animals to help reduce the chance of infection. Exposure to sunlight will also kill some viruses, however thoroughly cleaning, disinfecting and allowing for dry time is the preferred biosecurity practice.
As a pork producer you have a responsibility to the swine industry to help decrease the spread of disease. Not only can the health of your herd affect your farm, but your herd can spread disease to other pork producers in the area. If you are experiencing a disease outbreak, it is important for you to manage the disease risk and minimize the spread to other farms. To maintain the health of your pigs follow sound biosecurity practices and work with a veterinarian if a disease outbreak occurs.
For more information on ways to keep your exhibition pig healthy and decrease the spread of disease, contact your local Michigan State University Extension office email@example.com or 269-445-4438.
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