Swine professionals around the world continually seek new and better approaches to enhancing pig health and management, but they also encounter challenges on a daily basis, according to an announcement from Bayer.
Recognizing this, Bayer continues its support of swine professionals’ efforts to advance pig well-being and health through scientific education and launch of new digital tools at the 25th International Pig Veterinary Society Congress (IPVS) underway June 11-14 in Chongqing, China.
Adjacent to IPVS, Bayer organized the seventh International Bayer Pig Symposium, where more than 150 participants from 15 different countries discussed key topics that are fundamental for enhancing health and well-being within pig herds with leading experts. The speakers addressed topics such as piglet and sow management, biosecurity and responsible antibiotic use in pig farming, to draw on key outcomes that help producers and veterinarians improve health and well-being sustainably, as what benefits the animals also benefits the farm.
Dr. John Carr, adjunct senior lecturer with James Cook University in Australia and Howells Veterinary Services in the U.K., spoke of the importance of responsible antibiotic use, and steps that can be taken to achieve this.
“When pigs are sick, the question does not lie on whether antibiotics should be used, but rather how we can responsibly and effectively use them," Carr said. "In order to achieve great clinical success, the correct medicines must be administered at the correct dose. This requires an understanding of the basic pharmacology of the products being prescribed and veterinary input is essential.”
Dr. Luiz Felipe Lecznieski, global swine veterinary scientific affairs manager with Bayer Animal Health, defined biosecurity as follows: “Biosecurity at the farm level is the set of strategic and practical measures taken to prevent the entrance of a pathogen into a swine farm and to control its spread within the herd and between farms. For any swine farm, a biosecurity program is essential for improving health status and, therefore, well-being and productivity. It should be seen as an investment rather than as another cost in production.”
Another important area for ensuring optimal health and well-being within a pig herd is piglet and sow management at farrowing, with pre-weaning mortality highlighted as one of the major animal well-being issues in pig production by Dr. Juan Carlos Pinilla, PIC Global Technical Services in the U.S.
Pinilla described this as a multifactorial problem that requires several considerations and actions to safeguard piglet health and well-being. He explained that “Among other areas, it is fundamental to achieve world-class feeding management, day-one care management and proper sow management to wean the piglets so that they can thrive.”
At IPVS, Bayer also launched new digital tools to further advance pig health and well-being. The "BCS SowDition" smartphone application, offers farmers and veterinarians a simple way to accurately and objectively measure and track the body condition score of sows, an important indicator of health and well-being.
The "BCS SowDition" app is an innovative and simple way to objectively measure and track the body condition of sows, helping farmers and veterinarians to ensure optimal herd management and care, Bayer said. Body condition scoring (BCS) is an important indicator of sow health and well-being, longevity and fertility. Data can be easily be incorporated with the farm management software and shared with a veterinarian for consultation. BCS SowDition is available free-for-download on the AppStore and GooglePlay, and more information is available at http://go.bayer.com/sowdition.
The "Power Pigs" app brings a fun approach to learning about pig health and well-being solutions in an augmented reality-based game.
Bayer also presented 11 scientific posters at IPVS, covering different aspects of swine production, including improvement of boar management, immunity to key respiratory diseases, disease prevalence reports and responsible antibiotic use.
Octavio Orlovsky Eckhardt, head of swine species marketing at Bayer Animal Health, said, “Bayer is committed to improving pig health and well-being. We continually invest in scientific education for livestock professionals, as well as research and development so as to provide new innovative solutions for the swine industry.”