One farmer, with the help of his specialist pig vet, has saved up to £2/pig by introducing a new vaccine that has helped eradicate Porcine Ileitis, otherwise known as Proliferative Haemorrhagic Enteropathy (PHE) or Porcine Intestinal Adenomatosis (PIA), from his herd.
Vet Jake Waddilove, from The Piggery Vet, explains his client operates an indoor system of 240 sows, taking them from farrow to finish, and despite hygiene levels being of the highest standard, his farm has had a history of Ileitis and PHE caused by the bacteria Lawsonia intracellularis, with average disease related mortality as high as 3 per cent.
“Faeces sampling and diagnostics confirmed active levels of Lawsonia intracellularis within the herd, so when the Porcilis Lawsonia vaccine was launched earlier this year by MSD Animal Health UK, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA using it on-farm made perfect sense,” says Jake.
“To date, we’ve had four batches of vaccinated progeny go through the system and the results, even in this short space of time, have been significant, allowing us to see a real difference in pig performance and mortality since using the vaccination.”
Previously it was costing the farm 40p/pig to treat for Ileitis and PHE with antibiotics, explains Jake, but with the average reduction in mortality at 1.5 per cent, which in monetary terms correlates to £2/pig, this more than justified the cost of the vaccine.
“We’ve also noticed that vaccinated pigs have grown more evenly and consistently through the weaning and grower stages. Finishing time has reduced by an average of five to seven days, which is a significant improvement.
“When you also consider the saving from the reduction in time to slaughter and the feed and labour cost associated with this, as well as the increased efficiency of the farm system due to the increased rate of pen clearance, the introduction of this vaccine has really shown its worth for this farm,” he adds.
“It’s well worth investing in this vaccine and also identifying the level of impact the disease is having on-farm. If Ileitis and PHE are thought to be a problem, consider looking at this tool to help prevent the disease from causing any further harm, whether that’s financially or from a health and welfare perspective,” concludes Jake.