Biosecurity on a budget for small-scale pig producers

Source:  Jeandré van der Walt, Farmer’s Weekly, 27 August, photo credit: Everything PR

In this article by, Dr Peter Evans, veterinary liaison officer of SAPPO, he shares affordable and practical tips that small-scale pig farmers can implement to improve biosecurity on their farms and protect their livelihoods.

South Africa’s small-scale piggeries are often at risk of spreading or contracting diseases, as their biosecurity measures are frequently poor or non-existent. However, this need not be the case, according to Dr Peter Evans, veterinary liaison officer at the South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO).

The number of small-scale pig keepers in peri-urban areas has doubled over the past decade, says Evans, “more than likely due to socio-economic pressures”.

Although the role of these pig keepers, who are often found in informal settlements, is limited on the formal pork market, Evans says that at the level of the peri-urban township economy, they play a significant role through the informal selling, slaughtering and distribution of pork.

Given the impact of their contribution, it is crucial for these pig keepers to prevent pig diseases and thereby maintain the sustainability of their livelihoods. According to Evans, some pig diseases are insidious in nature; they have a negative effect on performance of the animals and increase cost of production because of treatments and/or vaccinations.
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The South African Pork Producers’ Organisation (SAPPO) coordinates industry interventions and collaboratively manages risks in the value chain to enable the sustainability and profitability of pork producers in South Africa.