Assessment of current disease surveillance activities for pigs post-farmgate in New South Wales

A. K. Schemann, M. Hernández-Jover, W. Hall, P. K. Holyoake, J. Alml Toribio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Evaluate current disease surveillance activities at saleyards and abattoirs in New South Wales (NSW) in order to establish the prevalence of clinical anomalies in pigs at different sites and to compare the sensitivity of detecting anomalies inside versus outside of pens. Procedure: Routine inspections of pigs by staff and government inspectors were observed at two saleyards and two abattoirs in NSW during three visits over a 2-month period (January 2008-March 2008). All pigs presented for sale or slaughter were examined for 19 clinical anomalies from either the side of the pen or while animals were moving outside the pen, with data being combined to give an assumed 'gold standard'. We compared the prevalence of anomalies among animals at the four sites using logistic regression, as well as the sensitivity of detection of the two inspection methods. Results: Frequency and methodology of routine inspection varied among sites. Of the 7747 pigs inspected, 822 (10.6%) showed at least one clinical anomaly. There was moderate agreement between detecting anomalies in penned pigs versus while being moved. Pigs at one abattoir exhibited significantly fewer anomalies than pigs at the other sites. Conclusion: The prevalence of anomalies among pigs at saleyards and abattoirs in NSW was relatively high (≈10%). Weaknesses in current disease surveillance activities for pigs post-farmgate have been identified. Increased regulation, surveillance training and modification of standard operational procedures for inspection have the potential to improve the current system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


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