OAHN Swine Network Project: Ontario Swine Producer Clinical Impression Survey

Project Lead: Dr. Tim Blackwell

Collaborators:  Dr. George Charbonneau

To read the full report, click here: https://www.oahn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Full-Final-Report-OAHN-Swine-Producer-Survey-Projectfinal-project030754-.pdf

Executive Summary

A 10-question survey focused on the health of swine on Ontario farms was developed by Drs. George Charbonneau and Tim Blackwell with assistance from Ontario Pork.  The survey was distributed to all swine producers registered with Ontario Pork via email wherever possible and through the postal service when no email address was on file with Ontario Pork.  Survey responses were collected anonymously.  A total of 80 responses were received. The 10-question survey collected information on farm demographics, specific disease problems, commonly accessed sources of information on swine health, and unresolved problems with swine health and production from a producer’s viewpoint.  The producer survey results reflected swine farmers’ concerns and impressions of swine health challenges and can be used to compare with the Ontario Animal Health Network’s (OAHN) quarterly clinical impressions surveys  of swine health issues from field veterinarians.

Respondents to the survey were primarily from farms with sows (67%).  Major health concerns on the farms were lameness (20%), post-weaning scours (16%), “other” (15%) and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (10%).  In the “other” category, sudden death in finishers was the most common concern.  Discrepancies in responses on the producer survey to those of veterinarians on the clinical impression survey likely reflect the distinction between problems producers are most likely to seek veterinary advice regarding versus those where they do not necessarily see veterinary advice as appropriate.  For example, it is difficult for veterinarians to address sudden death problems in finishing barns because such deaths tend to be sporadic and require timely post-mortems of a series of individuals to reach a satisfactory diagnosis.  As a result, veterinarians may not regularly be consulted regarding such health challenges. This project provided insights into the swine health problems that producers identify as most problematic on their farms.