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Improved Loadout Design and Procedures Strengthen On Farm Biosecurity

An Edmonton based veterinary consultant suggests, by improving the design of the loadout, pork producers can reduce the risk of disease transmission from transport trailers back into the barn."Practical Tips to Improve Your Load Out: The CWSHIN Loadout Project," was discussed last month as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2023.

Dr. Julia Keenliside, an Edmonton based veterinary consultant, says a survey of veterinarians showed there's a huge diversity in loadout designs and in procedures.

Quote-Dr. Julia Keenliside-Edmonton based veterinary consultant:

I think one of the biggest components when designing a loadout is it has to be easy to load pigs through.It has to be easy for staff to work in and pigs have to move through it quite well. We have lots of research out there to show how to design facilities to move pigs and I think people should take that into account.

Some of the basic things I'm thinking of is lighting.Pigs don't like to move into dark areas, non-slip floors and places where pigs aren't bottlenecked.
It has to be easy to move a pig, ramps not to being too steep. It also has to be easy for staff to move so a lot of places now are having a separate walk way for staff outside of where the pigs go.

The other thing, it has to be easy to clean.If it's not easy to clean, then people don't like to clean it and that's fair enough.The other thing I would go to is line of separation.I would definitely like to see two lines of separation and a staged procedure where there's some kind of barrier between the loadout and the rest of the barn because mistakes happen. 

If a pig turns back or kicks a piece of muck off the trailer that that doesn't then get tracked into the barn because there's a barrier and a door that's closed.The last piece of information that came up was the ventilation, having a ventilation system that was positive pressure so that things weren't sucked back into the main barn from that truck.We're suspecting, we haven't proven it in the scientific literature but there seems to be some advice out there and some experience saying maybe that's what's happened so we have to think about separate ventilation for that loadout area.

Dr. Keenliside says producers may be able improve their loadout biosecurity just by making a few simple changes rather than rebuilding a whole loadout area.

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