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Biosecurity practices and the potential for exhibited pigs to consume swill at agricultural shows in Australia

Cha, E., Toribio, J.-A.L.M.L., Thomson, P.C., Holyoake, P.K.
Preventive veterinary medicine 2009 v.91 no.2-4 pp. 122-129
swine, swine diseases, Foot-and-mouth disease virus, foot-and-mouth disease, biosecurity, livestock exhibitions, feed intake, questionnaires, disease transmission, Australia
Our objectives were to document the biosecurity practices implemented at agricultural shows in Australia and to measure the potential for pigs to consume swill at shows. An observational study was conducted at 6 agricultural shows in 2006 to identify the potential for pigs to consume swill. In addition, a questionnaire on biosecurity practices was distributed to administrative personnel responsible for 64 pig exhibits at 46 agricultural shows in Australia in 2005. A total of 153 feed exposure events were recorded during the 22-day observation period, of which 48 (31.3%) were identified as swill. Health status declarations for incoming pigs were required by 11.7% of exhibits. Exhibitors were solely responsible for monitoring the health of the pigs while at the show in 17 (28.3%) exhibits. Where agricultural show staff were responsible for health monitoring, only 2 of 60 respondents stated their staff had training in disease recognition. In 49 (83.1%) exhibits, pig manure was disposed outside of the showground. Our results demonstrate that current biosecurity practices at pig exhibits at agricultural shows in Australia may allow the introduction and dissemination of exotic diseases, particularly FMD.