How much floor space do group housed sows need?

An article from our colleagues in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and published in the National Hog Farmer explores how much space the sows really need. It is critical to find the right balance between the welfare of the animals and the productivity of the farm.

Continue reading “How much floor space do group housed sows need?”

Risky pigs: Moving weaned pigs during an FMD outbreak – part 2

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Key points

  • During a FMD outbreak, the risk of spreading FMD due to weaned pig movements can be lowered by applying enhanced biosecurity at the farrowing facility, during transportation and at the destination.
  • Pre- and post movement quarantine periods are advisable when moving pigs from a control area during a foreign animal disease outbreak.
  • Swine workers’ ability to detect vesicular disease is one of the key elements in ensuring low risk movements and prevention of disease spread.
Continue reading “Risky pigs: Moving weaned pigs during an FMD outbreak – part 2”

A successful 50th anniversary of the AASV meeting

The 50th anniversary of the AASV meeting this past week was an occasion to shine for faculty, students, and researchers of the University of Minnesota swine group.

Dr. Peter Davies received the Howard Dunne memorial award, recognizing his important contributions and outstanding service to the AASV and the swine industry.

The UMN CVM students did a fantastic job. Marjorie Schleper presented a comparison of methods for a successful inoculation with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and got the second place in the student oral presentation competition. Katelyn Rieland was also recognized for her project on the evaluation of UV chambers on swine farms.
David Pillman and Taylor Homann both received a prize for their poster presentation and Homann was awarded one of the 10 student scholarships given by Merck Animal Health.

Lastly, Dr. Juan Sanhueza And Dr. Mariana Kikuti each received one award given by Boehringer Ingelheim to advance the research on swine respiratory pathogens for their respective projects: “Toward the best testing strategy for PRRSV stability: time-to-negative processing fluids in breeding herds” and “Genetic diversity of PRRSV in piglets during an outbreak”.

Congratulations to all!

Dr. Peter Davies receives the Howard Dunne Memorial Award

We are extremely proud of our dear colleague and friend, Dr. Peter Davies who received the 2019 Howard Dunne Memorial Award at the 50th anniversary of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, in Orlando this past week.

Dr. Davies received the Howard Dunne memorial award at the 50th AASV meeting.

The Howard Dunne Memorial award is one of the most prestigious recognition given by the AASV recognizing an AASV member who has made important contributions and provided outstanding service to the association and the swine industry.

Davies was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia, but in his youth spent much time in the wool and wheat producing region around Newdegate where his grandfather was a pioneer farmer, and for about 50 years his uncle Des Cuff always kept a few pigs for fun. There, he became interested in “all creatures great and small,” and never considered a profession other than veterinary medicine.

He received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Honors from the University of Melbourne in 1975, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Sydney in 1983. He has practiced as a clinical veterinarian in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. During 1984-1986, he worked as a livestock advisor on an agricultural and community health project for small farmers in the northeast of Brazil. During 1987, recognizing the importance of veterinary expertise and specialty with life balance, he became involved in swine research as a senior veterinary officer for the South Australia Department of Agriculture, from where he was recruited to work at the University of Minnesota in 1991.

Davies has educated veterinary students in swine health and production, epidemiology, and food safety at North Carolina State University, Massey University in New Zealand, and the University of Minnesota, where he was the Allen D. Leman Chair of Swine Health and Productivity during 2003-2009. He has been a dedicated advisor to numerous Masters and PhD students, shaping the future critical thinkers and evidence-based scientists. All mention his energy, enthusiasm, and unwavering support. Described as a lifelong learner, Davies has also facilitated lifelong learning opportunities for practitioners, including a peer group program titled Epidemiological Skills for Swine Practitioners. Davies and the current Leman Chair, Dr. Cesar Corzo, are collaborating to create an updated iteration of that program to commence later in 2019.

Davies has served on several National Pork Board and AASV committees, has provided leadership for AASV and Leman Swine conferences, and regularly has been an invited speaker at international meetings on swine health and pork safety.

Davies has an extensive body of research and publications in swine health, antimicrobial use and resistance, and zoonotic and food-borne pathogens, including Salmonellaand methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He is now in the midst of a 5-year NIOSH funded, innovative and transformational study of infectious disease risks at the human-swine interface. Focused on MRSA, hepatitis E, and influenza, the research participants are practicing AASV members, together with a control group of companion animal veterinarians.

After serving on the International Scientific Committee of the International Research Center in Veterinary Epidemiology, Copenhagen, Denmark during 2000-2007, Davies is now a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and is on the editorial board for the Merck Veterinary Manual.

When asked what it meant to him to receive the Howard Dunne Memorial Award, he responded:

“I am humbled and honored to have my name added to the list of Howard Dunne Award recipients – a list of AASV icons, mentors, and friends who have served and guided the swine veterinary community through the years. I am indebted to countless colleagues who have educated me along the way, and to the AASV for including me in its culture of exchanging experiences and lifelong learning – every conversation is an education!”

Congratulations Peter!

Risky pigs: Moving weaned pigs during an FMD outbreak – part 1

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Key points

  • Foreign animal diseases like FMD, ASF, and CSF are a threat to the global swine industry.
  • The response to a foreign animal disease usually involves the establishment of disease control areas within which there will be movement restrictions put in place in an attempt to stop disease spread between farms.
  • Allowing movement from a disease control area of pigs with no evidence of infection can be done without spreading disease if science-based risk mitigation measures are put in place.
Continue reading “Risky pigs: Moving weaned pigs during an FMD outbreak – part 1”