Outbreaks (of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) occurred in spring 2006 in Germany close to the Dutch border. On 6th April Dutch pig farmers were given the possibility to submit blood samples directly via their veterinary practitioner to the National Reference Laboratory for CSF if their pigs had nonspecific clinical symptoms or if pigs were being treated with antibiotics. The pig farm was not quarantined and was not visited by the veterinary authorities. Over a period of 9 weeks 156 pig farmers submitted whole blood samples via 50 different veterinary practices. All samples tested negative in the PCR test. These pig farmers and veterinary practitioners were asked to respond to a postal questionnaire with questions regarding their experience with this new diagnostic possibility, the distribution of the costs involved, a comparison official notification or use of with other instruments, such as of a leukocyte count test, and their knowledge of clinical signs of CSF 65 pig farmers (42%) and 33 veterinary practices (66%) returned the questionnaire. The main results indicated that pig farmers (72%) would use this type of exclusion diagnostics sooner than that they would approach the veterinary authorities (practitioners: 86%). Moreover the respondents considered the fact that the farm was not quarantined immediately to be an advantage (pig farmers, 79%; practitioners, 88%). 32 percent of the pig farmers were not aware that they were required to submit blood samples if pigs were being treated with antibiotics (practitioners: 11%). The majority of pig farmers and practitioners were not satisfied with the current distribution of the costs involved: in their opinion the costs of the PCR test, the costs of the veterinary practitioner and the costs for shipping the samples to the reference laboratory should be paid out of the Animal Health Fund (50% government and 50% industry) or by the government. If the current distribution of the costs is not changed, a large proportion of the pig farmers indicated that they would not use this form of exclusion diagnostics for CSF in the future. Pig farmers appeared to have a rather limited knowledge of the clinical signs of CSF: 33% of the pig farmers could mention maximally three clinical signs of CSF and 7% could not mention a single clinical sign of CSF and said they were entirely dependent on the practitioners' ability to judge a CSF-suspect situation.
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.