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Accelerating herd health improvement

Part one of a three-part series on potential business improvement opportunities from R&I, originally written by Peter Haydon for Australian Pork Newspaper

As mentioned in April’s APN article, the research team continue to focus on finding ways to reduce production costs, keep our farms safe, and improve our license to operate.

In a time where it’s difficult to get any news that’s not related to COVID-19, we thought we’d put together an update on some of the things the R&I team are working on been working to deliver lately.

Accelerating herd health improvement – Dr Lechelle van Breda

Autogenous vaccines are vaccines that are made from bacteria taken from sick or deceased pigs at a specific farm. Most of you probably use them to protect against farm-specific strains of APP, E. coli, and Streptococcus suis amongst other things, and in addition to keeping our pigs healthy, they will also be essential in the long term in reducing reliance on antimicrobials on-farm.

APL was successful in getting a grant from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment in response to an industry-identified desire to improve the timeliness of autogenous vaccine permitting.

Autogenous vaccines require registration and a permit from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) before they can be used. It can take over twelve months for approval. As such, there are probably financial and welfare costs associated with preventable diseases because of slow vaccine approvals. This is an unnecessary burden on an industry already challenged with maintaining farm profitability.

APL consulted with producers, autogenous vaccine manufacturers and APVMA to contribute to significant improvements, streamlining the approval process. In turn, this is expected to lead to quicker access to autogenous vaccines which will aid Australian pig farmers in raising healthy pigs.

Read part two and part three online.

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