Managing the movement of people within and between production facilities and systems is a major challenge in reducing the potential for disease outbreaks in swine operations, according to NoveTechnologies LLC.
Research continues to show that pathogens such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and other economically important swine disease are readily transferred by people, increasing the likelihood of disease spread from infected to naïve farms, the company said at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dr. Thomas D. Parsons, director of the Swine Teaching & Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, said comprehensive, on-farm and system-wide biosecurity protocols set the foundation for any disease control program, and they can have a tremendous impact on farm production and profitability.
"Biosecurity is the foundation for success," Parsons said in a media conference at the expo.
“The stakes are raised today with the higher health status on many farms, especially with the intensity of production and concentration of farms and animals in many areas,” Parsons explained. “Managing the movement of people and their access to facilities based on who they are, where they’ve been, disease status and other factors is key to any successful biosecurity program.”
Monitoring and controlling the movement of farm personnel and visitor traffic within and between farms should be top-of-mind with farm owners and managers, said Kent Andersen, director of marketing for NoveTechnologies. “Even with all the automation, filtration systems and other disease-mitigation technology in use on many swine farms, human movement continues to be a major contributor to disease spread on all swine farms.”
To help farm owners and managers more effectively manage worker and visitor movement on farms and reduce potential for disease transmission, NoveTechnologies developed Protocol, a new 3D biometric identification and premise access system. This near-real-time, 24/7 monitoring and permission-granted security system, allows workers and visitors access to defined areas/facilities and may provide additional information about other areas or farms visited.
“Unlike key cards, passcodes and other passive systems, Protocol consists of a simple, entry-installed 3D imaging camera and keypad, along with cellular modem and cloud-based software program. This allows owners and managers to accurately identify and approve who enters their facilities, know when they entered, and monitor and track their access to other Protocol-monitored areas with the farm,” Andersen explained.
“More important, these types of networked, permission-granted facility-access systems permit the collaborative sharing of worker and visitor information among connected farms as part of an area-wide surveillance network to further reduce or prevent the incidence of human-vectored disease outbreaks within a region,” Andersen added. “Considering the high cost that disease outbreaks have on swine farms, user-defined, controlled-access systems like Protocol can have a positive impact on farm production and profitability by helping to reduce transmission.”
NoveTechnologies, based in Omaha, Neb., is an agricultural technology company that provides user-defined premise access and control and animal technology solutions that help ensure the well-being of animals and employees, as well as the safety of the food production system.