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Excavation technique could help keep Sask. swine transports clean

Excavation technique could help keep Sask. swine transports clean

The concept involves hot water, a vacuum and dry heat

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter

Saskatchewan’s pork industry is taking inspiration from another sector to help reduce the spread of disease.

Scientists with Swine Innovation Porc are developing a system that uses a high-pressure water vacuum and dry heat to disinfect transport trailers.

That system is similar to one found in the excavation industry, according to Dr. Terry Fonstad, an associate professor of civil and geological engineering with the University of Saskatchewan.

“You use high-pressure water to make a hole and then you vacuum up the dirt and the water,” he told Farmscape today. “You would take a dirty truck that had just been hauling animals. You would start at the back and vacuum up all of the shavings and leftover manure and things in the truck up to the front.”

The next step, he said, is to use water and a vacuum simultaneously and move from the front of the truck to the back, rinsing off and suck up any leftover materials. Then the truck should be heated to kill any bacteria.

However, getting an entire 53-foot livestock trailer hot enough for an extended period of time is the challenge engineers face, he added.

Saskatchewan has only had one confirmed case of PED since 2015, according to the Government of Saskatchewan.

And research like Dr. Fonstad’s is crucial to ensure the province’s pork industry remains healthy and vibrant, according to Grant Wilson, vice-chairman of Sask Pork.

“New innovations that improve biosecurity and protect against the spread of disease are increasingly important for Saskatchewan pork producers.  We know that transport trailers are a major vector for disease spread, that’s why properly cleaned trailers are so critical,” he told today.

“The high-pressure hot water vacuum system and the work being done by Dr. Fonstad are exactly the kinds of innovations we need.”