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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Management practices related to the control of gastrointestinal parasites on Swedish pig farms

Pettersson, Emelie; Sjolund, Marie; Wallgren, Torun; Lind, Eva Osterman; Hoglund, Johan; Wallgren, Per


Background Internal parasites are common in pigs worldwide and may induce clinical disease or subclinical infections with negative effects such as poor weight gain and reduced welfare, which in turn affect productivity. Effective parasite control to reduce the negative impact of parasitic infections demands a combination of antiparasitic drugs as well as various hygiene and biosecurity practices. The aim of this study was to obtain information on current management practices and parasite control routines used on Swedish pig farms using an online questionnaire. Results Antiparasitic drugs were used on 69% of the farms routinely and were mainly administered to sows just prior to farrowing. Less than 5% of the herds conducted faecal analysis for parasites. Batchwise, age segregated rearing was common and overall, it was practiced for piglets, growers, and fatteners on 88, 80 and 75% of the farms, respectively. Large and medium sized farms appeared to apply stricter hygiene and biosecurity measures to the growing pigs compared to small farms. Dry sows were mainly housed in groups on deep litter straw beds and cleaning, as well as disinfection, between each group was less common compared to what was practiced for growing pigs. Outdoor access was rare and only occurred on organic and small farms. Most of the farms, 54, 74 and 82% of small, medium, and large sized herds respectively, reported to have less than 5% white spot lesions, caused by migrating A. suum larvae, registered at slaughter. Conclusion Several risk factors for parasite infections, such as bedding material, group housing and solid floors, are mandatory requirements by national law. However, it was evident from this study that although strategic hygiene and biosecurity practices appeared common, they were not practiced in all herds and less so for dry sows. Antiparasitic drugs were used frequently and mainly through routine prophylactic treatments without prior testing for parasites. A holistic approach is necessary when designing efficient parasite control programs, and it is essential that management factors and routine monitoring of parasites are given attention. This to achieve efficient parasite control and reduce the risk of unnecessary use of antiparasitic drugs.


Antiparasitic drugs; Anthelmintic; Biosecurity; Hygiene; Parasite control; Questionnaire; Survey

Published in

Porcine Health Management
2021, Volume: 7, number: 1, article number: 12
Publisher: BMC