A qualitative study to identify potential biosecurity risks associated with feed delivery

C. Dewey, DVM, MSc, PhD; K. Bottoms, MSc; N. Carter, BA; K. Richardson

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Objectives: To identify management and operational functions, recommended by feed-company personnel and swine producers, that have the potential to decrease the risk of pathogens being transmitted among swine farms through movement of feed trucks.

Materials and methods: Focus groups and key-informant interviews were conducted with feed company representatives (21), including managers, dispatchers, and truck drivers, and also with swine producers (15). Questions explored biosecurity measures that would reduce risk of pathogen transmission at the farm, feed-company, and feed-truck levels. Participants were asked to rate these biosecurity management changes by economic and logistic feasibility and likelihood of reducing pathogen transmission.

Results: The results provide an understanding of the roles of the farm, feed truck, and feed company in biosecurity management surrounding delivery of feed to swine farms and the need for education about how pathogens move among farms. Examples include pest control and truck washing, dispatching trucks according to farm disease status, drivers not entering the barn, reducing exposure of trucks to deadstock and manure, and educating all industry personnel.

Implications: All swine industry personnel must think about their roles in pathogen transmission associated with feed delivery and consider implementing changes and developing an industry standard that could reduce this risk. Veterinarians may take the responsibility of educating others in the industry about risks identified in the scientific literature that are associated with pathogen transmission. Biosecurity is everyone’s concern: everyone has a role to play in reducing the potential risk.

Keywords: biosecurity, feed delivery, qualitative research, focus groups

RIS citationCite as: Dewey C, Bottoms K, Carter N, et al. A qualitative study to identify potential biosecurity risks associated with feed delivery. J Swine Health Prod 2014;22(5):232-243.

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