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Experts discuss about harmonization approaches for health management systems in pig production

Dutch, Danish and German experts from industry and academia see first approaches but also several barriers for a common basis for pig health management systems in the three countries. This became clear at a workshop that was performed at 16th of May, 2013 at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. The workshop was based on the results of a study that was conducted in the framework of the EU-financed QUARISMA-project (Quality and Risk Management in Meat Chains).

In the sector of pig production, several health management systems exist that are not comparable in goals, organization, content and results at present (like TiGA and the project „Gesunde Tiere - Gesunde Lebensmittel” in Germany, the SPF-system in Denmark and Pig Match in the Netherlands). Another study within the QUARISMA-project shows a promising approach, how to get relevant health data of slaughter pigs through blood tests at the slaughterhouse and how to give them back into the production chain.

The experts do not see the need and the feasibility to create a completely harmonized standard system in pig health management. In fact, they refer to the harmonization potential in some parts like taking, analyzing, evaluating and interpreting of samples from the pigs. This monitoring would be precondition if talking about harmonized systems. The monetary advantages that a partly harmonization and an improved information flow of available data about pig health would have for all participants at the pork production chain were not sufficiently noticed and communicated at the moment.

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