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Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2014 14/S/832 UCD (Teagasc, CIT) € 739,053

Project Title:

Investigation of respiratory disease on Irish pig farms, associated risk factors & the relationship with performance, welfare & antimicrobial use.

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Finola Leonard

Project Abstract

Respiratory disease is among the most significant infectious conditions contributing to production losses in the pig industry. However, there are few data available on respiratory disease, associated pathogens, morbidity and mortality in commercial pig units in Ireland, despite high levels of antimicrobial drug usage and the need to improve production efficiency, health and welfare. This project proposes to bring together for the first time in Ireland, expert researchers in the areas of veterinary pathology, microbiology, epidemiology and pig welfare to address this deficit. Baseline data on respiratory pathology on farm and at slaughter will be collected, including cross-sectional data from 80 to 100 farms and data from longitudinal studies on up to 20 farms. Simple diagnostic approaches will be optimized for on farm use, in conjunction with sophisticated laboratory pathological and microbiological analyses where required. A holistic approach will be adopted and data on respiratory disease will be set in the context of information on risk factors for disease, farm management and productivity, other disease problems, animal welfare and antimicrobial usage. This will allow comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to be completed and maximize understanding of the underlying reasons for disease occurrence on farms and cost to the industry. Data on costs, risk factors and associated effects on pig welfare and productivity can then be used to drive management change on farms to control respiratory disease and associated losses, thus contributing to more profitable and sustainable pig production.

Final Report:

Not available yet.