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Scientists Examine Potential of Air Filtration to Protect Pigs from Disease

1 November 2012, at 8:58am

CANADA - The Canadian pork industry is exploring the potential of air filtration as one method for protecting swine herds from disease, writes Bruce Cochrane.

As part of a multi-institutional project being conducted in partnership with the Canadian Swine Health Board, scientists from across Canada are exploring the potential of using air filtration to protect Canadian swine herds from disease.

Lee Whittington, the president and CEO of the Prairie Swine Centre, told those on hand for the 2012 Canadian Swine Health Forum earlier this month, the purpose of this work is to use technology that has just become available to the animal industry in the last four to five years to create an engineering solution to prevent, in particular, PRRS of mycoplasma virus from getting in and destroying the health of the herd.

Lee Whittington-Prairie Swine Centre:

There's a huge economic benefit especially for those farms that are producing breeding stock where typically they'll be breaking with disease, in the past, once every two or three years.

During that period of time they are either unable to sell stock at all or if they are a high enough health product that they want to produce, they actually have to de-pop and start all over aging knowing that three years from now they could very well break again even though they've just put in clean pigs.

What we're doing is we're saying that if we take the technology that we have developed in dust control and in ventilation management and look at the shell of the barn as an envelope and talk about, can we seal that envelope and can we filter the air that's coming into it and, yes we can.


Mr Whittington says scientists are looking at what's happening in the Europe, in the US and in Canada in an effort to come up with solutions producers can take off the shelf and implement on their farms.

He says results from this work will be coming out in the spring of 2013.

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