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Failure to guard against ileitis is costing money

by 5m Editor
17 July 2007, at 11:23am

UK - A survey of pig farmers and specialist pig vets has found many producers are losing money through failing to guard against a common porcine intestinal disease.

Only 30 per cent of farmers surveyed said ileitis was a problem on their farms despite previous research having found that over 90 per cent of farms in Europe were infected with the bacteria that causes the illness.

Although many farmers would recognise the acute forms of the disease, the sub-clinical form of the disease is more common affecting most herds in the UK and Ireland but without obvious symptoms such as diarrhoea or death.

Although less dramatic than acute ileitis, the consequences of sub-clinical ileitis are potentially more damaging to longer term profitability.

Significant economic loss results from a considerable decrease in growth leading to more days to slaughter. Healthy pigs, free from ileitis, have higher food conversion efficiency and, therefore, grow more quickly.

Commenting in the survey on the lack of farmers’ awareness of ileitis, one vet said: “The economic situation is quite sinister, whereby a lot of farmers don’t appreciate that they have got a significant problem and that it’s costing them a lot of money.

“Ileitis is probably present in almost every farm we visit.”

Asked what they thought were the key economic consequences of ileitis, just 18 per cent of farmers identified poor growth. None of the farmers in the survey knew how much ileitis cost them and most were unable even to provide an estimate.

Although a vaccine exists against ileitis, the survey found that 60 per cent of farmers had not heard of it.

However, 90 per cent would welcome a vaccination over antibiotic treatment and 81 per cent said they wanted to reduce antibiotic treatment.

Source: Farmers Guardian

For more information on Ileitis click here

5m Editor