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Published on July 20, 2021

Your best defense against disease? Biosecurity sanitary zones

As one of the leaders in swine breeding, Hendrix Genetics recognizes that strong biosecurity protocols play an important part in keeping pigs safe and healthy. Fundamental to swine production, biosecurity should act as the first line of defence to prevent, control and manage risks to health. Protecting pig health also benefits the three layers of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental.

Prevention is the first line of defense

With biosecurity being the most effective and inexpensive means of disease control available, it is important to understand that no single disease prevention program would be effective without utilizing appropriate biosecurity protocols. The prevention of disease outbreaks is key to maintain the health, welfare, and productivity of your pigs.

Animal disease outbreaks lead to disease symptoms, reduced productivity, additional treatments, increased labor and management costs. Ultimately, if disease leads to mortality, this is lost economic and genetic value. Outside the individual farm, disease can have significant economic consequences if it causes restrictions for a specific location, region or even country by its trading partners. Hendrix Genetics is safeguarding biosecure stock of pigs around the world to limit disruptions in the value chain.

As an essential part of animal breeding, biosecurity includes management, farm design, decontamination, immunization, and rodent, bird, and insect control. All these areas have a direct impact on productivity and profitability of any animal breeding company. Hypor has implemented standard operating procedures to prevent pathogenic agents from entering farms, which protects the health status, welfare, and production results of all our pigs. When followed correctly, biosecurity protocols prevent disease breaks, but they also aid to control and manage the existing health status of the farm.

The sanitary zone principle

To help our customers understand the importance of biosecurity, we have developed several videos to demonstrate the main principles of biosecurity implementation on farm. The most important guideline that producers need to adhere to is the sanitary zone principle.

So, what is the sanitary zone principle? It is a way to create zones on your farm with different sanitary levels. The farm consists of at least three zones from HIGH to LOW sanitary status: Restricted Access Zone (RAZ), Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) and DIRTY zone, respectively. Each zone needs to ensure total isolation from the other zones to maintain cleanliness. This can be achieved by using fences, gates, walls, and biosecurity protocols to ensure that no uncontrolled passage from one zone to another zone is possible.

  • Dirty zone: medium risk
    This is any area that is not a part of the farm. This area should always be considered as ‘contaminated’. Transport vehicles from outside the farm should be only allowed to enter as far as the dirty zone.
  • Controlled Access Zone (CAZ): medium risk
    Interaction between the RAZ and the dirty zone, which is a part of the farm.
  • Restricted Access Zone (RAZ): high risk

The RAZ of the farm corresponds to the area where the production units or barns are located. This area is controlled by a gate, a restricted lane, signage, fence, and/or a combination of some or all these items. Only materials belonging to the farm can be inside the RAZ. Pigs inside the RAZ should belong to the farm or have passed quarantine/isolation. The only people allowed inside the RAZ should be the farm staff and approved visitors (following pig-free downtime requirements) after showering and changing clothes. Transport inside the RAZ should be done using vehicles belonging to the RAZ that remain within the RAZ. No external transport should be allowed in the RAZ.

In our new biosecurity videos, animations demonstrate how the principles work. In this first video, the sanitary zone principle is demonstrated. Additional biosecurity videos will be highlighted soon, each covering a different topic.

Practicing good biosecurity is the best method in preventing disease outbreaks and keeping animals on your farm healthy and productive. Through biosecurity protocols and veterinary support, Hypor, the swine brand of Hendrix Genetics, strengthens the industry by maintaining strong supply channels with high quality animal genetics. Healthy, reliable genetics will contribute to a more sustainable swine industry now and in the future.

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