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Objective—To assess the role of noncommercial pigs in the epidemiology of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus.
Design—Seroepidemiologic study and survey study.
Animals—661 pigs from which blood samples were collected at slaughter and 32 pigs from which blood samples were collected longitudinally.
Procedures—Spatial databases of commercial farms and 4-H participation were evaluated by use of commercial geographic information systems software. Information on disease knowledge and management methods of 4-H participants was obtained by mail survey and personal interview. Serum samples for antibody testing by PRRS ELISA were obtained from pigs at slaughter or at county fairs and on farms.
Results—Participation in 4-H swine programs was geographically associated with commercial swine production in Minnesota, and 39% of 4-H participants reared pigs at locations with commercial pigs. High seroprevalence at fairs (49%; range, 29% to 76%) and seroconversion after fairs indicated that PRRS virus exposure was common in pigs shown by 4-H participants and that transmission could occur at fairs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The small swine population shown by 4-H members (estimated 12,000 pigs) relative to the population of commercial swine in Minnesota (estimated 6.5 million pigs) suggested the former overall was likely of minor importance to PRRS virus epidemiology at present. However, the relative frailty of knowledge of biosecurity practices, evidence that PRRS virus exposure was frequent, common intentions to show pigs at multiple events, and often close interactions with commercial herds suggested that the 4-H community should be involved in regional efforts to control PRRS.
Objective—To determine whether withholding feed from pigs prior to slaughter had any effects on meat quality, percentage of pigs with Salmonella spp in cecal contents during slaughter, or percentage of pigs with lacerations of the gastrointestinal tract during slaughter.
Procedures—At the finishing barn, pigs were assigned to 30 pens. Feed withdrawal times were assigned to pens at random, and pigs in each pen were marketed in 3 groups. The first marketing group consisted of the 10 heaviest pigs in each pen, the second consisted of the next 10 heaviest pigs, and the third consisted of all remaining pigs.
Results—Withdrawing feed improved the redness score assigned to the meat but did not have any other significant effects on carcass composition or meat quality. The percentage of pigs with Salmonella spp in the cecal contents decreased from the first (73%) to the second (64%) to the third (52%) marketing group. However, isolation of Salmonella spp from cecal contents was not associated with feed withdrawal time or with pen prevalence of Salmonella shedding during the 2 months prior to slaughter. Feed withdrawal time and marketing group did not have any significant effects on overall prevalence of gastrointestinal tract lacerations.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that withdrawal of feed from pigs prior to slaughter does not increase the prevalence of Salmonella colonization or the risk of carcass contamination associated with gastrointestinal tract lacerations during slaughter but only slightly enhances meat quality. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:497–502)
Objective—To determine whether withdrawing feed from pigs prior to slaughter had any effects on prevalence or severity of gastric ulcers.
Procedures—At the finishing barn, pigs were assigned to 30 pens. Feed withdrawal times (0, 12, or 24 hours) were assigned to pens at random, and pigs in each pen were marketed in 3 groups over a period of 4 weeks. The first marketing group consisted of the 10 heaviest pigs in each pen, the second consisted of the next 10 heaviest, and the third consisted of all remaining pigs. Feed was withheld from all pigs in each pen prior to removal of each marketing group. Thus, feed was withheld once, twice, or 3 times for pigs in the first, second, and third marketing groups, respectively.
Results—Feed withdrawal time was not significantly associated with ulcer score at the time of slaughter. Ulcer scores and prevalence of chronic damage were higher in the third marketing group, regardless of feed withdrawal time. Prevalence of severe damage, prevalence of chronic damage, and prevalence of esophageal constriction increased as carcass weight decreased. No pigs died of gastric ulceration.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that withdrawal of feed from pigs prior to slaughter does not increase damage to the stomach and that repeated feed withdrawal does not result in fatal gastric ulceration. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:503–506)
Recent state and federal legislative actions and current recommendations from the World Health Organization seem to suggest that, when it comes to antimicrobial stewardship, use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease can be ranked in order of appropriateness, which in turn has led, in some instances, to attempts to limit or specifically oppose the routine use of medically important antimicrobials for prevention of disease. In contrast, the AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials believes that attempts to evaluate the degree of antimicrobial stewardship on the basis of therapeutic intent are misguided and that use of antimicrobials for prevention, control, or treatment of disease may comply with the principles of antimicrobial stewardship. It is important that veterinarians and animal caretakers are clear about the reason they may be administering antimicrobials to animals in their care. Concise definitions of prevention, control, and treatment of individuals and populations are necessary to avoid confusion and to help veterinarians clearly communicate their intentions when prescribing or recommending antimicrobial use.