Starting this month, Zoetis will be working with the National Pork Board to help extend the reach of Individual Pig Care, an in-barn education and training program. For nearly 10 years, this program has highlighted the importance of early identification of sick pigs, which can improve treatment outcomes and reduce herd mortality.
“Since we introduced Individual Pig Care in 2005, our technical service veterinarians have helped train hundreds of caregivers and production managers on the importance of walking the pens to check every pig every day,” said Dr. Rick Swalla, senior veterinarian, Pork Technical Services, Zoetis.
Those who participate will learn how to monitor pig health on an individual basis. Pigs exhibiting signs of illness are rated by using a classification system:
A pig = Acute illness
B pig = Subacute illness
C pig = Chronic illness
E pig = Humanely euthanize
The classification system allows caregivers to communicate a pig’s health condition more clearly to their managers and herd veterinarians. By doing so, pigs needing treatment are provided care at the right time with the right product and according to veterinarian-directed protocols. This essentially is the cornerstone of responsible antibiotic use.
“We’re continuously collaborating with others to improve animal husbandry and focus on a bright future for pork,” said Bill Winkelman, vice president-producer and industry relations, National Pork Board. “By bringing the Individual Pig Care program to more producers, we can have an industrywide, consistent method of care that results in healthier pigs.”