Swine practice: Planning for the 21st century

Noel T. Kavanagh, MVB, DPM, MBAE, MRCVS

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There is potential for pig veterinarians to broaden the range of services they provide into areas that might, initially, appear to be nonveterinary. In order to compete successfully for this market, the veterinarian must be educated in a wide range of ancillary areas and must demonstrate expertise for which the consumer is prepared to pay. Regulatory changes could create new opportunities for veterinary services. Opportunities exist for greater involvement in quality assurance schemes, animal welfare, disease control and eradication programs, biosecurity procedures, environmental programs, and enhancement of food safety. Food safety programs will require close ties among veterinarians, government agencies, producers, meat processors, pharmaceutical manufacturers, consumer associations, and transporters. Because the veterinary consultant will need to play an active role in developing programs designed to improve food safety and the consumer's image of pork, food-safety-related veterinary services, laboratory services, consultancy, and quality assurance practices are likely to expand in the future. Consumer pressure could radically influence systems of intensive pig production in the future, particularly the confinement of sows, the use of totally slatted floors, and the use of farrowing crates for lactating sows. The pig veterinarian will play a key role in developing and advising about alternative systems of housing that both satisfy welfare requirements under commercial conditions and allow pork to be produced profitably. The demand for laboratory procedures is increasing. The support of a laboratory not only enhances the quality of professional services, but could also increase client satisfaction, and broaden the range of services provided by the consultant.

Keywords: practice, industry

RIS citationCite as: Kavanagh N. Swine practice: Planning for the 21st century. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(4):165-169.

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