Behind the Lines - April 2011

When Better Pork staffer Don Stoneman visited Curtiss Littlejohn’s high health status farm to photograph his new biosecurity sign, some distance from his barns, the former chair of Ontario Pork told him that was as close as anyone had ever been allowed without changing footwear.

Biosecurity isn’t new to the pork industry nor is Stoneman new to biosecurity. Back in 1978, when on a student internship at the now defunct Farm & Country magazine, he visited the farm of Doug Macleod at Embro and then talked about high herd health status with veterinarian Dr. Harry Brightwell in Stratford. Showering in and showering out was a relatively new concept then. It isn’t now, but biosecurity means different things to different people. Persistent and costly diseases have been proven to be more easily transmissible than previously thought. That’s the justification for developing a national biosecurity standard put forward by the Canadian Swine Health Board.

Is there a financial benefit for producers to adopt these standards and be certified? The benefit will be in cost savings. Diseases like Atrophic Rhinitis and Mycoplasma Pneumonia that Brightwell told a young Stoneman about are no longer front and centre in Ontario’s pork industry. One can hope that the same can one day be written about the recent and current scourges of circovirus and porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome.

I hope you will enjoy a different approach to Second Look this month: a perspective from the younger generation.



Better Pork - April 2011